Three Killed In County Durham Crash

A lorry driver has been arrested following a crash in County Durham which left three members of the same family dead, including a one-year-old girl.

Police said all three who died in the collision on the B1404 between Houghton-le-Spring and Seaham were in the same vehicle.

They were travelling in a Renault Megane Scenic which was in collision with a Volvo truck near Sharpley Golf Club.

A force spokesman said those who died were a 75-year-old man, believed to have been the driver, an 18-year-old woman and the baby girl.

The woman and the girl were in the back of the car.

A 74-year-old woman, who was the front seat passenger, was airlifted to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough with serious injuries.

The family is from the Houghton-le-Spring area.

The spokesman said the lorry driver, a 42-year-old man from Hetton-le-Hole, was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.

He suffered whiplash injuries in the crash and is in police custody.

The accident happened at around 12.20pm, officers said.

The lorry crashed through hedges and trees and ended up 250 metres away in the middle of a fairway, the golf course owner said.

Simon Weightman, a farmer who diversified to build Sharpley Golf Club, said:
"I suddenly saw a lorry in the middle of the fairway. Then I saw a person get out and collapse on the ground"

On Wednesday night, the remains of a light-green people carrier were sitting on a recovery truck parked by the crash scene.

Workers with a separate recovery vehicle gathered around the large hole in the hedge to the side of the country lane which heads uphill from Seaham towards Houghton.

Police reopened the road shortly before 6pm.