A man is critical in hospital after being hit by a car, that did not stop, as he tried to cross the A1 in County Durham.
Police are hunting the driver of the car and seeking anyone who saw the incident – which happened only minutes after a lorry and van smash near Washington Services on Saturday night.
Superintendent Andrea Henderson, of Northumbria Police, said: “We are keen to speak to anyone who may have been travelling on the A1 in the area at around 9.50pm on Saturday.
“We are still trying to establish the circumstances around this incident and any information may be useful to us.”
It is believed the man, who last night was in a critical but stable condition, crossed the central reservation from the northbound carriageway – where the lorry and Transit van had collided – and was struck on the southbound carriageway. Officers have referred the case to the Independent Police Complaints Commission as members of the Northumbria force were already present, dealing with the first accident.
Witness Libby Webb, 55, was travelling north to Pelaw, Gateshead, with husband John to see her daughter Amy, an accountant for South Tyneside Hospital, when she passed the scene of the crash only minutes after the hit-and-run accident.
“There was debris and glass all over the road and the police were coning it all off,” she said. “On the northbound side there were six police cars around a white van with the front all smashed in – it must have hit something pretty hard – while on the south side there was an ambulance, fire engine and lots more police cars. Further up the road, parked on the hard shoulder, was what looked like and Asda lorry.
“Whatever had happened looked serious – and from the damage it looked like someone would have been hurt.
“Then when we got onto the A184 Felling bypass there were police there too and they were there stopping some people.”
The A1 northbound was closed at he Blind Lane roundabout in Chester-le-Street, with the southbound carriageway shut at the A1231 sliproad and at the A194M Havanna roundabout with diversions until Sunday lunchtime.
Police said they could offer no details on any injuries suffered by the occupants of the lorry or van, and could not confirm whether the hit-and-run victim had been involved in any way in the earlier smash.
Anyone with any information should contact Northumbria Police on 101 ext 69191.