TWO crashes on the A19 caused severe traffic chaos during rush hour this morning.

The first multi-vehicle collision happened on the southbound carriageway at the A690 junction shortly after 7.30am.

One person was taken to hospital with minor injuries following the crash involving four vehicles.

A second crash happened on the northbound carriageway at A1018/B1404 Seaham turning, a short while later.

A spokeswoman for the North East Ambulance Service said: “We had a call at about 7.55am reporting a four-vehicle road traffic collision just south of the A690 junction of the A19.

“We sent two hazardous area response vehicles, our cardiac arrest car and an ambulance. We’ve taken one patient to hospital with minor injuries.

“The police and fire service were on scene as well.”

An ambulance was also dispatched to the scene of the second accident, but was not required in the "damage only" collision.

A Northumbria Police spokesman said both carriageways had been cleared and traffic was flowing freely again.