A PARAMEDIC injured in a road smash immediately went to the help of two more seriously hurt casualties at the weekend.

The 34-year-old Darlington man, who has not been named, had been on a 999 call when his Ford Focus was in collision with a car containing two women, flipping it onto its roof and badly injuring the 44-year-old driver and her 73-year-old mother, both from Esh Winning, County Durham.

Both women were badly hurt. The driver had serious head injuries and a broken pelvis and was airlifted to the James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough. She was on a ventilator in the intensive treatment unit yesterday and was said to be poorly but stable.

Her mother was taken to the University Hospital of North Durham with chest and leg injuries.

Witnesses said the paramedic did what he could until other medics arrived to take over.

The emergency in Willington he was attending was handled by another ambulance crew responding to the same call.

Police investigators will report to the North-East Ambulance Service, who sent a senior officer to the scene on the B6299 at Stanley Crook, County Durham, on Saturday afternoon.

Police said the women had been waiting in their black Vauxhall Corsa to turn right into a junction east of Railway Terrace soon after 2pm when the paramedic's car started to overtake traffic behind them.

As the Corsa turned, it was struck heavily on the offside by the paramedic vehicle and flipped over onto its roof.

The Ford had driven up with its blue lights flashing, and headlights and siren on.

Amateur photographer Robin Oliver, who lives in Railway Terrace, said: "We heard the siren go dead and there was a big bang. The paramedic got out to help the women. He did as much as he could until the other ambulances arrived. I saw the man sitting on a wall and he looked as though he was going to faint."

A North-East Ambulance Service spokesman said yesterday that serious accidents involving their vehicles were very rare.

Ray Burns, duty manager in the control room at Newcastle, said: "We can't remember the last one. We have an excellent safety record."

The paramedic was treated at Darlington Memorial Hospital for minor injuries.

Police have appealed for witnesses to contact 0191-375 2159.