THE death toll from a road traffic accident has risen to three.

Margaret Murray, 53, of Castleside, near Consett, County Durham, died in Newcastle General Hospital.

Her husband, Michael, also 53, and taxi driver Michael Joseph Stewart, 39, of Surrey Crescent, Moorside, Consett, died after the accident on the A692 in Consett on Sunday, May 22.

Judith Mallows worked with Mrs Murray, who was a carer for adults with learning difficulties at Jubilee House in Moorside, near Consett.

She said: "It is very sad and everyone is very upset about it. It has come as a real shock.

"She was a lovely lady and we are going to miss her a lot."

Mrs Murray was in the rear seat of the Neasham's taxi, near the Morrisons roundabout heading for the town centre.

The incident happened at 6.50pm, when the taxi was involved in an accident with a black Citroen Xantia SX Turbo diesel car travelling the other way.

She was taken to the University Hospital of North Durham and transferred to the spinal unit at Newcastle General Hospital. She died on Sunday, a week after the accident.

Funeral arrangements are being made by their children, Mark, who lives in Consett, and Lisa, who lives in Scarborough, North Yorkshire.

A man in his fifties who was also a passenger in the taxi sustained multiple injuries.

His condition was yesterday described as critical, but stable.

The Citroen driver, Michael Logan, 26, of Dacre Gardens, Consett, is recovering at home.

Police have made a new appeal for witnesses. They especially want to hear from the driver of a Mercedes car believed to have been in the area at the time.

Anyone with information is asked to call 0191-375 2159.