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Barnard Castle crash victims remain in hospital
A FATHER and two of his children remain in hospital after a serious two-car collision near Staindrop at the weekend.
Darren Handyside, 45, from Butterknowle, is said to be improving in The James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough, after suffering abdominal injuries in the head-on crash, which happened on the A688 at 9.50am on Saturday.
His eight-year-old daughter, Sophie, and ten-year-old son, Jack, were airlifted to the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI), in Newcastle.
A police spokesman said Sophie was now in a stable condition at the RVI, while Jack remained in a critical but stable condition. Both suffered head injuries.
Jack and his father were freed from the wreckage by firefighters, while Sophie was released by paramedics before fire crews arrived at the scene.
Both children were anaesthetised by a Great North Air Ambulance doctor as three air ambulances attended the scene.
Sophie and Jack attend Butterknowle Primary School.
Headteacher Paul Ruane said: “This is clearly a very difficult time and our thoughts, and those of the local community, are with the family.”
The family is described as well known and well-liked in the village, and at a songs of praise service at St John’s Church, in nearby Lynesack, people turned out in force on Sunday to offer prayers for the injured.
The service was led by the Reverend Jane Grieve, who said: “The thoughts of the whole village are with them and also with their mum and older sister during this difficult time.”
Mr Handyside’s silver Rover collided with a Vauxhall Corsa driven by a 78-year-old Sunderland woman.
She was taken to Darlington Memorial Hospital with spinal injuries and is said to be improving.
Police have renewed their appeal for witnesses to the accident to come forward.
The collision occurred about 300 yards east of the junction with Burnt Houses Lane, near Raby Castle.
Anyone who saw the accident, or the cars shortly before it happened, are urged to contact PC Andy Wilson, of the Durham Constabulary roads policing unit, on the non-emergency number 101, or the collision investigation unit direct on 0191-375-2159.