A YOUNG man was declared dead at the scene and two more taken to hospital with injuries after the car they were in left the road and flipped onto its roof in a field.
Police, firefighters and paramedics were called to the A182 between South Hetton and Easington Village at 12.20am today after the Ford Mondeo crashed and came to rest on its roof.
One of the young men inside the car sustained fatal injuries in the crash.
He has been named locally as Karl Bennett, who was believed to be 17.
Two others were also in the vehicle and were both taken to the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough.
One is said to be seriously hurt and police say it is not known how badly injured the other is at this stage.
All three are said to be local to the area.
Police were called to the collision by the ambulance service, with Durham Constabulary’s helicopter sent to the area as inquiries began into the cause.
The crash happened 400 metres north west of the Plants R Ross garden centre, with the car leaving the road to the nearside.
The identities of those involved have not been revealed by officers as they confirm who was in the car and contact family members.
Inspector Malcolm Smart said: “Durham Constabulary would like to speak to anyone who saw the accident or was near the scene at around that time.”
Police closed off the road between the A19 junction and the B1280 Salter’s Lane while they dealt with the crash.
Firefighters from Peterlee helped cut free the men from the vehicle.
Anyone with information is asked to call Durham Constabulary on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.