FOUR people were rushed to hospital after being involved in a late-night car smash.
Firefighters, police and paramedics raced to Upper Church Street, in Hartlepool, last night after a dramatic collision involving a black Peugeot and a silver Citroen Xsara.
Three out of the four people involved had to be cut free from the cars, before they were all taken to the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton.
Firefighters cut the door off the Peugeot in order to free the male driver before they cut the roof off the Citroen in order to free the driver and front seat passenger.
A third person was removed from the Citroen before all four were taken to hospital, with some transported on spinal boards.
Crew manager Kenny Braham, of Stranton Fire Station, said: “We removed the door from the Peugeot in order to get the driver out and the roof was cut from the Citroen in order to free two people in the front.
“There was concern the occupants of both cars were suffering from whiplash and back injuries and all four were taken to hospital as a precaution.”
The road was closed for around an hour while emergency services dealt with the smash.
Both cars were badly damaged in the incident, which happened shortly before 10pm at the junction of Upper Church Street and Stockton Street.
Two crews from Stranton Fire Station and one from the Headland Fire Station were called.
A spokeswoman for the North East Ambulance Service said all four had been taken to hospital suffering from a mixture of minor injuries.
It was the second smash in the same area within hours after emergency services were called to a car that crashed into a central reservation in Marina Way.
A male driver escaped injury after his Red Renault Clio was involved in the collision.
The road did not have to be closed after the collision, at around 2pm yesterday.