A woman in her 50s has died following a crash near the A19 – despite medics performing open heart surgery at the side of the road as they battled to save her.
The accident happened at around 11am yesterday (Monday) on the A1018, just off the northbound carriageway of the A19, when a coach collided with a Vauxhall Corsa.
The female driver of the Corsa was treated by a doctor from the Great North Air Ambulance, and was airlifted to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough in a critical condition.
A spokeswoman for the Great North Air Ambulance (GNAAS) said: “We were called to a crash on the A19 near Seaham. Our doctor-led trauma team performed open heart surgery on a female in her 40s.”
She sadly died from her injuries and police confirmed her death at 3.15pm.
Speaking about the accident, a spokesman for Durham Constabulary said the woman was taken by ambulance to the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough with what was described as life-threatening injuries.
“The collision happened just off the northbound side of the A19 just before 11am today, it is believed a coach collided with a Vauxhall Corsa on the A1018 slip road,” a spokesman said.
“The driver of the Corsa, a woman in her 50’s, was taken to James Cook Hospital where she sadly died from her injuries.
“The driver of the coach, which was empty of passengers at the time, was shaken but uninjured.
“The A19, along with several approach roads were closed for several hours to allow the emergency services to attend the scene.
“The Air Ambulance, Ambulance and Fire Service were also in attendance along with officers from Cleveland and Durham’s Specialist Operations Unit.”
Leanne English, managing director of Peterlee-based LEC Consultancy, was travelling to a meeting on South Tyneside shortly after the accident happened. She said: “The police had blocked off the A1018 slip-road and you could see the tailbacks from the A19. It was clear something serious had happened. It’s so very sad to hear the woman later died in hospital.”