A man and woman were injured in a crash caused after their car was forced off the road and collided with a petrol pump, leaving the business with a £50,000 repair bill.
The incident happened when a silver Vauxhall Vectra struck the pump at the BP garage in Essington Way in Peterlee.
Police say the car had been tailed by a 4x4, which drove off after the collision.
The man driving the Vectra, who is in his 20s, and the 18-year-old woman who had been his passenger were later treated at the University Hospital of North Tees for back and arm injuries.
Officers say a customer preparing to fill his vehicle narrowly escaped injury in the collision, while his woman passenger was also lucky not to be hurt.
Minor damage was also caused to that vehicle.
Now detectives are trying to trace the driver of the 4x4 and have asked for witnesses to come forward.
The vehicles had been heading from Peterlee town centre towards the A1086 Thorpe Road in the lead up to the smash.
Three fuel pumps have been put out of action due to the damage, with the business likely to be further out of pocket through lost revenue - the others at the station remain in service.
Detective Constable John Forster, of Peterlee CID, said: "This was on a public road at a busy time and this driving has been beyond dangerous.
"The car has mounted the grass verge twice before it has come off the road and then the other driver has simply driven off.
"It was lucky that no one was killed.
"Someone might have seen or heard what happened and we would like to hear from anyone with information."
The incident happened at 6.50pm on Friday.
Anyone who has information is asked to call Durham Constabulary on 101, quoting incident DHM-08032019-0379 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111