Two people were taken to hospital with whiplash after a series of minor collisions involving four vehicles on the A19.
Durham Police confirmed that they were called at 7.30am today to the collisions, which involved four vehicles in total.
This happened around a mile away from Hawthorn Services.
A KIA Picanto went into the rear of a Mercedes Sprinter van, police said. The van then collided with a Nissan Juke, which was pushed into the path of a Vauxhall Astra, they added.
The incident led to the A19 southbound being closed for around 20 minutes at Dalton Park while recovery work took place.
The driver and passenger of the Picanto were taken to hospital suffering believed whiplash, a spokesman said, and no one else was injured.
Delays were cleared and traffic was moving normally by around 9am.