A MAN appeared in court today (Thursday April 3) charged following a road accident which caused the deaths of three women last summer.

Jak Parker is said to have been responsible for a head on crash between two other cars, in Shotton Colliery, County Durham, on Sunday, June 23.

He was driving an MG ZR vehicle which was travelling eastwards, on Front Street, shortly after 6pm.

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It is alleged that due to the manner of his driving a collision took place between a Fiat 500, also heading eastbound, and a Citroen Xsara, coming from the opposite direction, on Front Street.

Anne Peachey, 60, died on arrival at hospital, 18-year-old Rebecca Learoyd and was confirmed dead at the scene, while 19-year-old Megan Robinson died in Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary, two days later.

Mrs Peachey was at the wheel of the Citroen, and Miss Learoyd was driving the Fiat, in which Miss Robinson was a passenger.

Both teenagers, from the nearby village of Thornley, either studied or previously studied at East Durham College.

Mrs Peachey, of Sherburn Hill, near Durham, worked on the Help Desk at County Hall, in Durham, and was a long-serving former chairwoman of Shadforth Parish Council.

Her daughter, Joanne, 33, and 13-year-old granddaughter, Adele Harland, who were passengers in the Citroen, were both injured in the collision and received hospital treatment.

Mr Parker, 22, from nearby Wingate, was arrested at the scene of the accident and bailed pending further inquiries.

He appeared before North Durham magistrates, at Peterlee, today charged with three counts of causing death by dangerous driving.

The magistrates sent the case to Durham Crown Court, where Mr Parker, now 23, and of Crimdon Terrace, Blackhall Colliery, was bailed to appear for a preliminary hearing, on Thursday (April 10).