CRIMINAL charges could be brought following a fatal car crash which killed two cousins, an inquest has heard.

Shauna Stokes, 17, and three-year-old Kelsey Marie Stokes died following a collision between Horden and Blackhall Colliery, in County Durham, on the afternoon of Wednesday, September 2 last year.

Kelsey died immediately following the crash while Shauna died as a result of her injuries the following day.

The pair were travelling in a blue Peugeot 206 towards Horden on the A1086 when the car was involved in a collision with a silver van travelling in the opposite direction.

A police investigation was subsequently launched to establish the circumstances of the crash.

An inquest held at Durham and Darlington Coroner's Court on Tuesday, January 12, heard that the case will be going to the Crown Prosecution Service, meaning criminal proceedings could take place.

The court heard charges are expected to be authorised "very shortly" and the inquest was adjourned for a further mention.

The coroner's officer said: "The case will be going to the Crown Prosecution Service.

"We expect charges to be authorised very shortly.

"They are satisfied that no other enquiries are to be done at this stage."