Live updates

Police seek "vital witnesses" to fatal crash

Police are looking for two drivers who may have witnessed a crash in which a man died.

Ian Brown, 45, was driving a Suzuki Swift along the A693 near Beamish on 9th February, just before midday. His car was involved in a collision with four other vehicles.

Durham Police officers want to speak to two people who may have seen what happened:

  • Male driver of a blue car, possibly a hatchback, heading east towards Chester-le-Street. The car was driving behind the cars involved in the crash and turned and drove away.
  • Driver of a small silver car, similar to a Citreon Berlingo, which was heading west towards Stanley.

Neither of the drivers is suspected of involvement in the crash, but police say they are "potentially vital" witnesses.

Santa Claus comes to town

Santa gives his reindeer a rest and hitches a ride on a Sea King Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

It might still be five and a half weeks until Christmas, but that didn't stop Santa Claus making a dramatic arrival in County Durham this weekend. Saint Nick gave his reindeer a rest by flying into Beamish Museum on a Sea King helicopter. He'll be there every weekend until Christmas.


Karl Doran Beamish Museum fund exceeds target

Karl Doran who died at Beamish Museum last month Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

A fund set up in memory of a seven year old boy who died at Beamish Museum last month has achieved five times its target.

Karl Doran died of head injuries after he apparently fell from a steam engine being driven by his father.

The £2,500 will support projects teaching children about steam power.

Paralympic Flame due back in the North East today

The Paralympic Flame will return to our region today. Torches have already been lit at the summits of the highest peaks in the UK's home nations. England's torch was lit on Scafell Pike in the Lake District earlier this week and then taken to London.

A splinter of the flame is being brought back to the North East today to take part in a special ceremony at Beamish Living Museum of the North in County Durham.

Parents of boy killed at Beamish pay tribute to him

The parents of seven-year-old boy Karl Doran, who died at Beamish Museum on Sunday, have paid tribute to him.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the messages of condolence we’ve received since our much-loved little boy died on Sunday. We want to thank everyone for their kind words. Karl enjoyed martial arts, swimming and cycling but was never happier than when he was at Beamish. We take some small comfort from knowing that he died doing something he loved. He will be missed forever.”

– Phil Doran and Karen Bolam

Online fundraising appeal launched for child memorial

Karl Doran, seven, died in an accident at the Beamish Museum, County on July 25 Credit: Durham Police

An online appeal has been launched to raise funds for a memorial for a seven-year-old boy who was killed in a tragic accident at a County Durham museum.

Karl Doran, from Darlington, died after allegedly falling from a steam engine that was being driven by his father at the Beamish Museum, on July 25. Both Philip Doran, and his son Karl, were volunteers at the museum.

It's hoped the Just Giving appeal will raise around £500, which would be used to fund a memorial for the youngster. Organisers have almost met that target already.

In a statement, Beamish Museum said: "The fund set up to raise funds in Karl’s memory is a very touching gesture.

"It is very early days and we are in close contact with the Doran family about how they would like any money which is donated to be used."

An inquest into Karl's death is expected to be opened and adjourned at Crook coroner's court, County Durham today. The investigation into the tragedy is being carried out by Durham Police and the Health and Safety Executive.


Boy who died at Beamish named as Karl Doran

Karl Doran Credit: Durham Police

The boy who died after an accident at Beamish Open Air Museum has been named as Karl Doran.

Karl, seven, died after an incident with steam traction engine and a trailer.

The engine was being driven by Karl's father Phillip, 41.

Karl lived with his parents in Darlington.

A post mortem examination carried out last night showed that he died from head injuries.

DCI Victoria Fuller, who is leading the investigation, said: "We are treating this as a tragic incident and are working with our colleagues at the Health and Safety Executive to establish the exact circumstances.

"We have already spoken to a number of witnesses but need to speak to some key people who may have been on a bus or tran which passed the traction engine around the time of the incident which occurred at around 3pm [on Sunday July 22]."

Karl and his father were both steam enthusiasts and were frequent volunteers at Beamish.

Richard Evans, museum director, said: "We continue to support the joint investigation and offer our deep condolences to Karl's father."

Beamish Museum reopens after child died

Beamish Museum is opening despite the incident in which a child died. The museum closed immediately after it happened on Sunday afternoon but said it would disappoint visitors if it did not open again today.

The safety of our visitors and staff is our top priority. The decision to open today was taken after consultation with Durham Police and the Health and Safety Executive.

This tragic accident involved a steam roller and all road steam has been suspended until completion of the investigation.

The Museum is aware of many people planning to travel a long distance to visit today and felt it should open so as not to disappoint these people.

Our thoughts remain with the family, and we thank everyone for their kind words.

– Statement from Beamish Museum

Witness describes attempts to save child at Beamish Museum

A visitor has described how paramedics desperately tried to bring the boy back to life.

Cllr Carl Marshall said: "I was visiting the museum with the family. We were in the events field. We noticed an incident."

"There was what appeared to be a child. There were Beamish vehicles on scene. The paramedic arrived and started to work on the casualty. Within a couple of minutes things got more frantic. A defibrillator came out."

"The after a couple more minutes they walked away and a blanket came out."

"It's a tragic event and it has rocked this community."

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