An elderly couple suffered serious injuries when they were hit by a van which didn’t stop as they crossed a road in South Tyneside.
The pair were on a pedestrian crossing on Wenlock Road, in Simonside, South Shields, at 9.30am today when they were hit by the vehicle which, police say, drove off without stopping.
The man was taken to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary with what police say are “life-threatening” head injuries, while the woman was admitted to South Tyneside District Hospital.
It is thought the couple are a husband and wife and live locally.
Police say they are now trying to trace the owner of a white van with red writing as the driver may not be aware the collision happened.
A woman, who was at the scene of the accident, said: “It was just awful. I dashed over as soon as I had realised what had happened.
“The gentleman was a lot worse off than the lady, but they both appeared to be injured.
“Hopefully they’re both going to be OK. I think they live locally.”
Police say a passing motorist called the emergency services and the road was closed while the collision was dealt with.
It re-opened to traffic at 11.30am.
A man who lives near the scene said: “I heard a lot of noise but I didn’t realise what had happened until a policeman came. The traffic was backed right up.
“To be honest, I thought it had involved a lorry which seemed to be there.
“How horrible for this to happen, at this time of year especially.”
A spokesman from Northumbria Police said: “A white van with red writing on it was seen to leave the area shortly after the collision and we want to trace the driver. They may not be aware that the collision has happened.
“The man’s injuries are life threatening but he is in a stable condition. We also want to speak to anyone else who was driving a van with a similar description who was in this area at the relevant time.
“We are appealing for the driver of the van to contact us.”
Anyone with information, or who witnessed the collision, can call Police on 101 ext 69191 quoting log number 318 11/12/15.