A PENSIONER has died after a horror smash that closed the A19 for five hours.
The collision, involving a Suzuki motorbike and a non-UK registered Peugeot 807, happened on the busy southbound carriageway close to the Elwick junction, on the outskirts of Hartlepool, at 7.50pm yesterday.
A 71-year-old man, who was riding the motorbike, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police have not released his name at this stage, but they say family members have been informed and he is from the Sunderland area.
The driver of the car, a 48-year-old foreign national, was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.
The collision happened at the southern Elwick junction, opposite Coal Lane which heads towards Trimdon Village.
Both the north and south bound carriageways of the A19 were closed for five hours last night while police and ambulance crews dealt with the incident.
The roads reopened shortly before 1am today.
A spokesman for Cleveland Police said: “Police are investigating a fatal collision that occurred at around 7.50pm on the A19 southbound carriageway near to the Elwick turn off.
“The collision involved a motorbike and a car.
“The rider of the motorbike, a male in his 70s, was sadly pronounced dead at the scene.
“The driver of the car, a 48-year-old foreign national male, has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.”
A spokeswoman for the North East Ambulance Service confirmed that a fast response car and two ambulances were called to the scene just before 8pm last night.
It is the second time in a matter of months that a motorist has died on that stretch of the A19.
Just last month, mum Margaret Clay, 42, died when her Vauxhall Corsa car collided with a stationary lorry in a lay-by on the A19, near Hartlepool.
Mrs Clay, of South Hetton, was declared dead at the scene.
The collision happened on the northbound carriageway, around half-a-mile south of Ron Perry’s Services.