A RECKLESS driver smashed into a bus then sped off while racing another car, police said.
The Stagecoach bus was so badly damaged that it needed towing away after the collision in Raby Road, Hartlepool, at 1.20pm yesterday.
Police are now hunting those behind the wheels of a black Vauxhall Corsa and a blue Fiat Punto that caused the crash at the traffic lights with Brougham Terrace.
They are said to have driven off towards Hart Lane after the incident.
The blue Punto was found two hours later abandoned behind B&Q, in Tees Bay Retail Park, off Brenda Road.
Inspector Bernie Hanson, of Hartlepool Police, said: “Two vehicles had been racing when they overtook the bus. Then, for some reason, one of the cars has reversed into the bus before they both drove off.
“The bus had substantial damage and needed collecting as it would not start.
“There were no injuries, but this is obviously a serious issue and we would ask for anyone who saw what happened to get in touch.”
A witness at the scene described one driver as in his early 20s, stocky, with short dark hair and wearing a dark jumper.
The other driver was said to be also in his early 20s and wearing a grey jumper and black hat. But it was not clear who was in which car.
Anyone with further information is asked to ring Cleveland Police on (01642) 326326 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.