AN elderly woman was airlifted to hospital with serious injuries after she was knocked down by a motorbike.

The accident happened at lunchtime today in South Hetton Road, Easington Lane, near Houghton-le-Spring.

The victim, aged 77, suffered life-threatening head injuries and was flown to the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough by the Great North Air Ambulance in a critical condition.

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A Northumbria Police spokesman said: “There were two people on the motorbike - the rider and passenger. Both were taken to hospital where their condition is being assessed.

“The pedestrian, a woman in her 70s, was taken to hospital by air ambulance where her condition is believed to be life-threatening at the current time.

“The road was closed for a short time to allow emergency services to deal with the incident.

“Officers are carrying out enquiries to establish what happened and are asking any witnesses to contact them."

Witnesses are asked to call Northumbria Police on 101, extension 69191, quoting reference 487 20/05/14.