A CYCLIST suffered a fractured skull after being knocked off his bicycle in an apparent 'hit and run' incident.

The 27-year-old was cycling along North Road, in Darlington, between 6am and 6.30am on Wednesday (June 18).

He was cycling towards the town centre from the roundabout with Salters Lane.

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As he crossed a junction with one of the streets running off North Road he was struck by an unknown vehicle and knocked from his pedal cycle, sustaining serious head and facial injuries.

A spokesman for Darlington police said: "It is thought the driver of the vehicle stopped briefly before driving off, leaving the cyclist lying injured in the road.

"He managed to get back on his bike and made his way back to his home in Geneva Road, after which his wife took him to Darlington Memorial Hospital.

"It was then confirmed he had suffered a fractured skull and cheekbone and is likely to remain in hospital for several days."

The cyclist was wearing a dark top, grey trousers and black boots and while there is no confirmed description of the vehicle responsible, police would like to speak to the driver of a relatively new-shaped silver coloured Vauxhall Corsa seen in the area at the time.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Durham Police on 101, quoting incident number 0067 of June 18.

The officer in the case is PC John Hufford, from the force's road policing unit.