POLICE are appealing for witnesses after a bus stop accident left a pensioner dead and another man injured.

Norman Hope died on Friday night, after he was struck by a car while waiting for a bus.

The accident happened at about 7pm, in Tyne Avenue, in Leadgate, near Consett, County Durham, close to its junction with Pont Lane.

Residents raced to help as 68-year-old Mr Hope lay on the ground with the metal bus shelter on top of him.

Eyewitness Marjorie Railton, 68, who lives opposite the bus stop, said: "I was sitting in my living room when I heard a big bang.

"I got up and looked out of the window and saw the car and the crumpled bus stop.

"My sons ran across to see what had happened. They took two blankets to cover him."

Sub officer Jeff Ashton, at Consett fire station, said: "We had to lift the metal bus shelter to get the man out.

"Paramedics gave both people first aid and they were taken to Durham University Hospital."

Another man, a 22-year-old from Leadgate, who has not been named, was also hit by the Peugeot 205 car. He suffered cuts to his head and legs, but police last night said his injuries were not life threatening.

The car was being driven by a 26-year-old man from Langley Park, near Durham.

He lost control of the vehicle, mounted the pavement and collided with the bus shelter.

The driver and his two passengers were not injured.

Mr Hope suffered leg, pelvis and internal injuries. Paramedics took him to the University Hospital of North Durham, where he later died.

The former Derwentside District Council worker lived alone in Derwent Crescent, on the Pont Head estate.

A Newcastle United fan, he had been waiting for a bus to take him to Leadgate, to watch the match.

The tragedy has deeply affected residents in the close-knit community.

Mr Hope's younger brother, Chris, who also lives in Leadgate, was too distressed to talk.

Ward councillor Watts Stelling said: "The family are absolutely devastated.

"Everyone knew Norman, he was a really nice bloke, a bit of a character and everybody liked him."

A police spokesman said that so far, they had no idea why the driver had lost control of the car, causing it to mount the pavement.

Officers are appealing for witnesses.

Anyone who saw the accident is asked to contact 0191-375 2159.