A WOMAN was cut free from a car after it hit a lamp-post on a busy bypass during rush hour.
Emergency services rushed to the scene of the accident on the A179 Hart bypass, on the outskirts of Hartlepool, at around 6.15pm yesterday.
It was one of five road smashes in just 24 hours in Hartlepool and East Durham, including one where a pregnant woman was rushed to hospital.
At the Hart bypass collision firefighters from Hartlepool’s Stranton Fire Station had to cut the woman from the Vauxhall car using specialist equipment.
The 57-year-old woman, from the Billingham area, was then taken to hospital by ambulance, but her injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.
The accident happened shortly after a heavy thunderstorm when rain and hail stones lashed the town, leaving roads very wet and slippery.
The road was closed in both directions for 90 minutes from 6.45pm to 8.15pm.
Police said the woman was taken to James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, as a precaution.
Just hours earlier in Easington Colliery, a woman, who is understood to be pregnant, was taken to hospital after a two-car smash.
The collision between a Nissan Juke and an MG Rover happened in Seaside Lane at 2.50pm.
A 31-year-old woman passenger was taken to hospital as a precaution, but was not said by police to be in a serious condition.
Two cars were also involved in a shunt last night at the junction of Park Road and York Road, in Hartlepool.
It happened at 7.10pm between a silver Renault Megane and a Skoda Sabia.
A fence was damaged but no-one was hurt.
And earlier in the day another woman also had to be cut free from a car after a two-vehicle smash closed Burn Road, in Hartlepool, yesterday morning .
The road was closed for two and a half hours from 7.10am in both directions from Belle Vue Way and Mainsforth Terrace.
It followed a crash in Belle Vue Way, involving a white Citroen Berlingo van and a red Peugeot 107.
The 25-year-old driver of the Peugeot was cut from her vehicle by firefighters complaining of neck and back injuries.
The driver of the van, also a woman, suffered injuries to her hand and hip.
Both were taken to James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, and their injuries were not thought to be serious.