AN elderly couple were airlifted to hospital following a two-car collision on the A66 in Teesdale.

The 77-year-old driver of a Volvo was severely injured when his car was in collision with an eastbound Fiat 500 as he attempted to turn right onto the A66 at its junction with Rokeby Road, near Barnard Castle.

The accident happened at about 8.55am this morning (Tuesday, December 18).

The driver's 77-year-old wife was also hurt and both were airlifted to the James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, by the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS).

A police spokeswoman said the driver is in a critical condition in the hospital's intensive care unit.

His wife's injuries are less serious, but she has been detained for further observation.

The driver of the Fiat, a 39-year-old woman from Carlisle, was taken to Darlington Memorial Hospital and treated for bruising. She was later released.

A GNAAS spokesman said the organisation's two helicopters had attended the scene.

He added: “Both aircraft had doctors on board and after assessing and treating the patients, they were flown in the helicopters to hospital with back and limb injuries.”

Police say they have spoken to a number of witnesses but would still like to hear from anyone who saw the accident.

Anyone with information should contact the collision investigation unit at Durham Police on 101.