A GRANDMOTHER told last night how she feared her husband had died after a car careered out of control in a quiet street.

Oral Ives, 63, was the first person on the scene following the accident which left her husband with a fractured skull and two other people injured.

She said: "It was absolute carnage and, to my horror, the first thing I saw was my husband's trainers lying on the side of the road.''

Police said the drama began when a Ford Focus was driven into Hawthorn Crescent, in Quarrington Hill, County Durham.

They told how:

l the car mounted the nearside footpath and smashed into a VW Golf pushing it through a wall

l veered back into the road, striking 59-year-old Mr Ives

l it then slewed onto the opposite footpath, where it collided with a Renault Clio, pushing it and its occupants into the garden next door.

Mr Ives was taken to the University Hospital of North Durham, suffering from a hairline fracture of the skull and a leg injury.

Mrs Ives was returning home with her two young grandchildren at teatime on Thursday when she arrived at the scene.

She said: "There seemed to be cars everywhere and I knew my husband, Peter, had been out walking the dog and would be returning in time for me coming back with (grandchildren) Jessica and Jak.''

Mrs Ives then spotted her husband's trainers before seeing him lying in a pool of blood on the road.

At that point, she was unaware that, across the road, Linda and Douglas Gott, both 46, had also been injured in the incident.

Police said that, after the impact with the Gotts' car, the driver of the Focus ran off, leaving another man at the scene.

They later arrested a 15-year-old youth and a 21-year-old man.

The youth was found by police at a house in Hawthorn Crescent.

After being breath-tested, the pair were questioned and released on bail until June.

Returning yesterday from visiting her husband in hospital, Mrs Ives said: "Peter had just come out of hospital last Sunday following knee replacement surgery and now he is back in for this."

But she said that, despite the shock of what had happened, she was relieved it had not been worse: "Peter could have been more badly hurt or worse could have been walking with our grandchildren."

Mr and Mrs Gott suffered minor injuries.

Durham Police appealed for witnesses to the incident or who may have seen the car being driven prior to the crash to call officers on 0191-375-2159.