A driver and passenger injured when an elderly motorist drove the wrong way down the A1 were last night still in in hospital.
The incident, on Saturday, left the 84-year-old woman dead, and a man and a woman in another car seriously injured.
Both are still being treated in the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle where medics have described their condition as ‘stable’.
Police are still trying to piece together what caused the pensioner to travel southbound in the northbound carriageway, with such devastating consequences.
The tragic chain of events unfolded at around 3.50pm when the car joined the road in Northumberland.
Police received a number of calls reporting the danger. But moments later the car had collided with several others, before smashing into the central reservation near Clifto, in the Morpeth area.
Police, firefighters, paramedics and a chopper from the Great North Air Ambulance Service all attended the scene.
But nothing could be done to save the elderly driver’s life, and she was pronounced dead at the scene.
The 51-year-old driver from another vehicle was airlifted to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary for treatment to chest, abdominal and pelvic injuries, while his 52-year-old woman passenger was also taken to the hospital by ambulance.
Although other vehicles were struck no one else was seriously injured.
One witness, who was driving in the northbound carriageway has told of the terrifying moment he narrowly avoided a head-on smash.
The man said: “I saw a car 100m away coming at me at speed. Swerved, skidded, somehow missed them,” he said.
“I was lucky enough to have the space to take evasive action, as were those in front. Whatever happened behind us we couldn’t see, thankfully. We came face-to-face with (the car) at 70mph. Genuinely terrifying.”
The road was closed for several hours on Saturday.
The collision is being investigated by motor patrols officers from Northumbria Police.
A spokeswoman for the force said: “The road was closed for investigations of the scene and diversions were put in place.
“It reopened at around 7.40pm. Further inquiries are being carried out by Northumbria Police’s motor patrols officers who are keen to speak to any witnesses.”
Anyone who witnessed the collision or who has any information about the events leading up to it should call Northumbria Police on 101.