A man has been left with life threatening injuries after his car crashed into trees off and caught light.
A huge plume of smoke was seen by drivers in the aftermath of the incident, near the Windmill pub on the outskirts of Hartlepool, with the scene captured on video.
The Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) has said it was called to the scene at 8am on Friday to treat the Billingham man, who is aged between 41 and 50.
He was treated for serious head, pelvis and chest injuries and was taken to James Cook University Hospital by road.
Cleveland Police have confirmed the fire was caused after the man's blue Vauxhall Vectra had collided with trees.
Officers were called to a single vehicle collision at around 7.45am on the A19 northbound near Elwick, Hartlepool, on the route between the A689 at Wolviston and the A179 Hart bypass.
Firefighters were also called to the scene.
Two appliances from Stockton and one from Hartlepool attended reports of a car in a ditch and arrived to find a passer-by had pulled the man from the car after concerns it was going to catch fire.
They helped paramedics as the man was treated.
Officers also put out the fire and made the vehicle safe before it was recovered.
Police have said the A19 was affected in both directions after it was closed in the aftermath of the crash, and officers asked motorists to avoid the area due to congestion.
Around the same time there was also a collision involving two vehicles on the A689 eastbound carriageway near Greatham.
Four people were left 'walking wounded' in the crash, which happened quarter of a mile from Newton Bewley.
A spokeswoman for Cleveland Police said: “Police are appealing for information after a collision occurred at 7.43am on Friday morning, on the A19 northbound near to the Dalton Piercy junction.
“The incident was a single vehicle collision where a Vauxhall Vectra left the carriageway and collided with a tree.
“The 43-year-old driver of the vehicle was taken to James Cook University Hospital with where he is in critical but stable condition.”
Anyone with information regarding the collision is asked to contact PC Martin Tranmer from the Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit on the non-emergency number 101, quoting event number 089315.