SIX teenagers are in hospital following a head-on car crash near Chester-le-Street.

A 19-year-old driver is fighting for his life with severe chest and internal injuries at Durham's Dryburn Hospital, after the crash between a Micra and a Sierra on the A693 near Beamish on Thursday night.

He was on the critical list last night.

A 14-year-old passenger in his E-reg Nissan Micra suffered pelvic and internal injuries and is said to be in a stable condition by hospital staff.

The Micra, containing four people, was travelling towards Stanley when it collided with a G-reg Ford Sierra travelling in the opposite direction.

Two other young passengers in the Micra and two young people in the Sierra suffered less serious injuries, and are also being treated at Dryburn Hospital.

Following the crash, which happened at about 8pm at a junction of the Chester-le-Street to Stanley Road, at High Handenhold, police closed the road for two hours.

Firefighters from the High Handenhold station helped to rescue the trapped passengers and assisted paramedics with first aid at the scene.

Anyone with information on the crash is asked to contact the police accident unit on 0191-375 2159