MOTORISTS had lucky escapes in two separate crashes that caused traffic gridlock.
The driver of a Vauxhall Corsa amazingly walked free from the wreckage of his car after it had flipped onto its roof in Marina Way, Hartlepool.
It was in collision with a coach carrying Rochdale football fans to Hartlepool United’s Victoria Park stadium, at around 6.30pm last night.
Police described the young male driver as “walking wounded” and he was taken to hospital in an ambulance as a precaution.
The coach stopped next to the roundabout so the driver could help traffic officers with their initial investigations while fans made the short walk to the ground so they didn’t miss the game.
One fan said: “We were almost there and then we heard the bang and saw the car flip over.
“It’s incredible he’s walked away. You wouldn’t think it was possible looking at the car.”
The northbound carriageway of Marina Way, from Anchor Retail Park, was closed for more than an hour after the smash.
Heavy traffic built up along Middleton Road and the open section of Marina Way near Asda.
Meanwhile, a section of the A689 also had to be closed after a car was in collision with a truck on the way into Hartlepool near Queens Meadow Business Park two hours earlier.
A woman had to be cut free from the wreckage of a Vauxhall Astra by firefighters and was taken to hospital by medics, but is not thought to have any serious injuries.
The driver was given the all clear by an ambulance crew.
The road was down to one lane for three hours and the eastbound carriageway was completely closed between 4.30pm and 5.20pm.
A Cleveland Police spokesman said: “There was a couple of incidents at around the same time in Hartlepool that caused a lot of traffic problems.
“Both incidents looked serious but it seems they have resulted in only minor injuries.
“They will now be investigated.”