A19 death smash cyclist named

Christopher Paul Griffiths
Christopher Paul Griffiths

THIS is the first picture of tragic cyclist Christopher Griffiths, who was killed in an accident on the A19.

Mr Griffiths, 50, from Wynyard, died after he was involved in a collision with a van on the southbound dual carriageway, near Wolviston, on Monday morning.

Meanwhile, another man was airlifted to hospital after his car spun off the road on the stretch of A19 near to Castle Eden. The driver, who is believed to be 21 and from Horden, was travelling in the white Peugeot van along the A19 when it hit the central reservation, overturned and landed upside-down on a lamp-post at around 10.40am yesterday.

Emergency services, including the North East Air Ambulance, ambulance paramedics, Durham Police officers and two fire engines from Peterlee fire station were called to the smash on the southbound carriageway near to the Castle Eden turn-off.

He had already been pulled from the wreckage by the time the emergency services arrived.

Firefighters and ambulance crews gave first aid to the man but as concerns about his condition grew, the air ambulance crew flew him to James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, with “severe head and chest injuries”.

Officers from Durham Police closed off the A19 at the junction with the A181 Castle Eden turn-off and traffic was diverted off the A19 and then back onto it over the fly-over.

A spokesman for the Great North Air Ambulance said: “We were called to attend a collision on the A19 near Peterlee involving a van.

“The driver sustained head and shoulder injuries and was treated by the air ambulance doctor at the scene and flown to James Cook hospital in Middlesbrough.

“We wish him a speedy recovery.”

Watch manager Ray Sillito, from Peterlee Fire Station, said: “He seemed to have lost control and landed upside-down on a lamp-post.

“When we got there he was out of the car because some passers-by had helped him from the wreckage.

“He was conscious but he started to repeat himself so the air ambulance doctor was concerned that this was signs of a head injury so it was decided he should be airlifted to hospital.”

He added: “We were there for 40 minutes and we gave first aid and made the scene safe.”

A spokesman for Durham Police said: “This was a one-vehicle accident and there was only the driver in the van.

“It hit the central reservation and ended up on its roof. At this stage we don’t know why.”

Mr Griffiths has been described as a devoted Middlesbrough football fan by fellow supporters using the popular Fly Me To The Moon message board.

On the Hartlepool Mail’s facebook site Caroline Smith’s tribute read: ‘RIP. it’s awful. God bless’. A message on the facebook page from Kev’s Klub added: ‘Very sad. RIP Christopher Griffiths. Our condolences to his family and friends at this very sad time’.

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