A WOMAN seriously injured in a two-car collision on the A1(M) in County Durham last month has died in hospital, police confirmed today (Tuesday June 21).

The woman was a passenger in a Ford Kuga which was involved in the crash with a Volkswagen Golf, driven by Kyle Schofield, on the northbound stretch of the A1(M), close to junction 62, at Carrville, near Durham, shortly after 1.15am on Sunday May 22.

She sustained serious injuries as a result of the collision and was taken to the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) in Newcastle for emergency surgery and has remained at the hospital since.

A Durham Police spokeswoman confirmed today that the woman, in her 20s, died at the weekend at the RVI.

Two other women and a man were treated at the University Hospital of North Durham after the crash.

Meanwhile, Schofield, who has admitted responsibility for the collision, appeared at Durham Crown Court today at a hearing where he was to have been sentenced.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving and one of failing to stop at the scene of an accident when he appeared at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates Court, two days after the incident.

The 24-year-old defendant, of Reed Close, Coxhoe, was remanded in custody after the magistrates' hearing and appeared by video link for today’s scheduled crown court sentencing.

But, prosecutor, Peter Sabiston, told the court of the “tragic development” in the case over the weekend.

“One of the passengers has sadly passed away and the prosecution will have to decide what to do now in the case.”

It is expected to be returned to the magistrates’ court where a new count of causing death by dangerous driving is likely to be added to the indictment by the Crown, in place of one of the charges of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Christopher Knox, representing Schofield, said the defendant was made aware of the development by his solicitors in conference at the prison yesterday, adding, “advice has already been tendered.”

Mr Knox said there should be “no difficulty” with the case then returning to the crown court for sentence at an agreed date in three months.

Judge Ray Singh adjourned for the case to return to the magistrates’ court, but he asked for preparation of both a pre-sentence probation report and a psychiatric report on the defendant for the rescheduled sentencing hearing, on Friday September 16.

Read more: A1(M) crash: County Durham man admits dangerous driving

Addressing the defendant, Judge Singh said: “The prosecution will have to consider whether they will lay a more serious charge and so it will have to go back to the magistrates’ court.

“Hopefully all that will be sorted out in time for the case to return here on September 16.”

In the meantime, he remanded Schofield to remain in custody.

Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

You can also follow our dedicated County Durham Facebook page for all the latest in the area by clicking here.

For all the top news updates from right across the region straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here.

Have you got a story for us? Contact our newsdesk on newsdesk@nne.co.uk or contact 01325 505054