POLICE have revealed that the 4x4 involved in a fatal crash with a bus in Darlington town centre had been stolen less than 30 minutes earlier.
The crash between a silver Isuzu Trooper and an Arriva bus, took place at the junction of Parkgate and St Cuthbert's Way at 4.55pm last night.
The Isuzu had been stolen from Rydal Road in Darlington less than 30 minutes earlier.
One of the passengers of the Isuzu was confirmed dead at the scene.
The other passenger, a 23-year-old man, remains in James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough with a broken leg and facial injuries.
Police are continuing to question a 25-year-old man, who is believed to be the driver of the Isuzu.
He was arrested yesterday on suspicion of causing death by careless driving and has now been rearrested for causing death by dangerous driving and burglary.
Detective Chief Inspector Steve Chapman of Durham Police, who is leading the investigation, said: “This is a tragic incident which happened at a very busy time in Darlington on Saturday tea time.
"We are appealing to members of the public to help us establish the events leading up to and immediately following the collision."
A number of passengers on the bus were treated at the scene for shock, but were not taken to hospital.
A man serving in Deano's, in Tubwell Row, near the scene, said shortly after the crash: "It's clearly been a major incident. What we have been told by customers is that a Range Rover-type car has hit a bus and the road has been closed to traffic as the fire brigade cut the driver out."
One man, who saw the aftermath of the collision, said: "It looks like a 4x4 has gone into the side of a bus. There are police and fire crews all over and all the roads into that part of town are blocked."
A reveller at the Glittering Star pub on Stonebridge said: "It's been a couple of hours now since whatever has happened, happened, and there's still officers working at the scene.
"It looks like there's been a fatality and it's very, very sad, especially at this time of year."
Two fire crews from Darlington and a special rescue unit from Bishop Auckland attended the scene.
Police closed off a section of the town centre at the Stonebridge roundabout to traffic while they investigated the circumstances of the crash.
Any witnesses or anyone with information is asked to call Durham Police on 101 and quote reference number DHM211220130391.
*Were you on the bus? Call The Northern Echo newsdesk on 01325-505054.