AN 81-year-old man is in critical condition following a crash outside a garden centre.

The man, from Bishop Auckland, was leaving Shincliffe Mill garden centre, in Shincliffe Lane, near Durham, when the Hyundai i10 he was driving collided with a BMW X3.

The accident happened at around 11.35am on Thursday.

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A police spokesman said: "It appears the Hyundai, driven by a man aged 81 from Bishop Auckland, had exited the garden centre when it turned right and hit the BMW, which was travelling east.

"As a result the Hyundai driver suffered injuries which were initially thought to be not life-threatening and he was taken to the University Hospital North Durham.

"However, he was later transferred to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle where his latest condition is reported to be critical.

"The driver of the BMW was a woman in her 50s from Bishop Auckland who suffered a minor facial injury."

Any witnesses are asked to call the collision investigation unit on 0191-375-2159.