POLICE have confirmed that a man killed in a horror smash between a car and a minibus that also saw 11 other people injured was from the Hartlepool area.
The man, aged 60, was the driver of a silver Citroen C4 car which collided with a single-decker minibus on the B1280 road as it joins the A179 Hart bypass, on the outskirts of town.
He was cut free by firefighters before being airlifted to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough, but died from his injuries despite efforts to save him.
Police are in the process of contacting his relatives and hope to confirm his identity.
Both vehicles were heading west, with the car ahead of the bus.
Police say it is thought that the deceased driver carried out a u-turn in front of the bus, which resulted in the vehicles colliding heavily with each other. It is believed he may have taken the left-hand lane on the A179 slip-road from the A19 northbound to beat queuing traffic turning right to Hartlepool, as if heading to Wingate, before carrying out the manoeuvre on the B1280 to turn round and head in the direction of town.
As a result, the driver suffered serious injuries.
The bus driver, in his 50s and from Crook, was not injured and 11 passengers on board were not thought to have suffered serious injuries, though they were taken to the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton.
One woman was hospitalised with a shoulder injury and another complaining of neck and back pain.
Details of the injuries of the other people was not released, but six of the minibus passengers received first-aid from firefighters at the scene.
There was police officers, a total of five fire engines and an emergency tender vehicle at the scene, along with two road ambulances and the air ambulance.
Fire crews were called in from Peterlee, Wheatley Hill, Billingham and Stockton fire stations to the incident, which happened around 5.30pm yesterday.
The road was closed until 11pm while emergency services dealt with the aftermath.
Any witnesses are asked to contact Durham Constabulary on the non-emergency 101 number.
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