The crash has happened on the A184 Newcastle Road westbound lane at Boldon, off Testos Roundabout.
Traffic has already built up on the back to Downhill Lane on the A19.
Highways England warned drivers could be held up on the northbound side of the carriageway between Testos and the A184 Newcastle Road, A1290 Downhill Lane and the A1231 Sunderland Highway and Wessington Way.
‘Bully’ broke disabled girlfriend’s arm and dragged her through broken glass in shocking campaign of cruelty
The 16 places where most crime was reported across South Tyneside in June
13 great pictures as the sunshine sees crowds flock to South Shields beaches
South Tyneside man given jail warning after breaching court order
‘Sinister’ paedophile watched children play and offered them doughnuts after moving into new neighbourhood
It warns of delays of up to 20 minutes due to congestion.
Highways England has also warned of delays on the northbound A19 between the A1080 sliproad to Ryhope and the A690 Durham Road junction.
It says there could be delays of up 10 minutes.