Motorist Clare Coulthard is lucky to be alive after youths threw a concrete slab through the sunroof of her car.

Ms Coulthard's car was hit by the block, which was among bricks and masonry hurled from a 30ft roadbridge on to a busy dual carriageway.

The 29-year-old physiotherapist, who comes from Newcastle, almost lost control of her Rover Metro car when the piece of paving slab smashed through the roof of her car, just missing her head, as she drove along the A19 in North Tyneside.

Police said children as young as 12 were behind the latest series of attacks on roads in the area.

Four cars were damaged on Saturday afternoon, while on Sunday another two cars were damaged.

Chief Inspector Derek Scott said: "It is by pure chance no one has been hurt or even killed through these reckless acts."

The stretch of road, the main route to the Tyne Tunnel, has been the scene of several "bridge bombing" incidents during the past three years.