A COACH driver is critically ill after the car he was in collided with trees on a busy road this morning.

Firefighters cut the 57-year-old free from his black Jaguar X-Type following an accident on the A693 at Beamish, near Stanley.

Emergency services were called at around 6am after the Stanley man crashed into three trees and a sign post before coming to rest by the side of the A693.

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The car, which was extensively damaged, has now been recovered and the road has been reopened.

A spokesman for Durham Constabulary said the driver was taken to University Hospital of North Durham and his condition is classed as ‘critical’.

The spokesman said: “The casualty was a coach driver who was on his way to work.

“It’s thought he may have taken ill at the wheel, his car then collided with a tree.

“Police are asking anyone who was on the road and may have seen the black Jaguar at any time before it crashed to contact the collision investigation unit on 0191-375-2159.”