A MAN died in a sledging accident as the region was hit by heavy snowfalls.

Mark Young, 20, from Ashington, Northumberland, died following the accident. Police said he ran out of control and collided with trees.

His 19-year-old friend was injured.

The two men were on an old pit heap at nearby Cramlington, a popular spot with sledgers.

It was the second accident at the steep slope in 24 hours. A man suffered back injuries after he also collided with a tree.

A spokesman for Northumbria Police said of the fatal accident: "The man was sledging with a friend on a steep slope at around 9pm on Sunday.

"They went down the hill and collided with trees at the bottom. Both suffered injuries but one of the men was confirmed as having died in hospital.

"His companion, who is also 19, was treated for leg injuries."

People living next to the pit heap were in shocked after hearing of the death.

Dave Head, 54, said: "It is terrible what has happened.

"There were people up there most of Sunday, but nothing like this has ever happened before. We have had broken bones and cuts and bruises - nothing as bad as this though."