A CHILD has sustained critical injuries in one of three serious crashes within hours of each other on or near the A1.

North Yorkshire Police said the child, whose age is not known, was among three people injured in a three-vehicle incident at 10.35pm, on Saturday (January 11).

It happened on the northbound carriageway, beside the B6275 Barton junction, between Scotch Corner and Darlington.

A police spokesman said the child was being treated at the James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, for life-threatening injuries, while its mother had also been treated at hospital.

The incident involved a black Vauxhall Tigra, whose driver was taken to hospital with possible head injuries, a black Peugeot 407 with five occupants including the mother and child, and a silver Nissan Micra.

Fire crews from Richmond, Colburn and Darlington attended the scene.

Police closed the A1 between the Scotch Corner and Darlington junctions until 7am today (Sunday, January 12) to enable accident investigators to examine the scene.

Less than half an hour later at nearby Brough St Giles, near Catterick, a man was found trapped and unconscious in a Vauxhall Astra which had left the A6136 and crashed into a ditch.

Fire crews from from Bedale and Leyburn attended the scene and used hydraulic cutters and airbags to free the driver and make the vehicle safe.

The casualty has been taken to Darlington Memorial Hospital suffering what were believed to be minor injuries.

A driver sustained severe chest injuries after becoming trapped in his car which had left the southbound carriageway of the A1 near Bradbury, near Sedgefield, County Durham, at around 7.40am yesterday (Sunday, January 12).

The man, who was the only occupant of the car, was released using cutting equipment and treated at the scene by a doctor before being taken to James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, by the Great North Air Ambulance, where he is in a stable condition.

Police and paramedics also attended the incident, as well as fire crews from Newton Aycliffe, Sedgefield, Durham and a rescue unit from Bishop Auckland.

A Met Office spokesman said temperatures had dipped below freezing overnight on Saturday (January 11), with its observation station at Leeming, near Bedale, recording a low of -1.4C at 8am on Sunday.