Live updates

Driver "blacked out" before school bus crash

Stanley Travel, the bus company that has admitted liability for a crash involving two school buses in County Durham in June has given ITV Tyne Tees a statement, which claims that their driver was unconscious at the time of the collision.

“We are able to confirm that our insurance company has agreed to accept liability following the accident on 3rd June. We are also able to confirm that the driver of our bus blacked out moments before the incident, and the medical evidence strongly suggest the driver was unconscious at the time of collision.

We hope that a speedy settlement will assist the injured passengers in obtaining any additional help and support they require."

– Andrew Scott, Director, Stanley Travel (North East) Ltd.

Celebrating new schools

New schools
Esh Winning (l to r) Durham County Council Chairman Cllr John Robinson, Macy Cowell, Chair of Governors Eileen Grimes Baillie Watson, Joe Summerson, Headteacher Diane Kime, Aidan Kirkup, Cllr Ossie Johnson Credit: Durham County Council

Celebrations have been held to mark the end of building work on two new primary schools forCounty Durham.

The new builds have seen Brandon and Esh Winning replaced by modern constructions with state-of-the-art facilities.

Both schools have been open since April 2012 with Brandon costing £ 7.2m and Esh Winning £6.4m.

Esh Winning
Brandon (l to r) Durham County Council Chairman Cllr John Robinson, Cllr Ossie Johnson, former Chair of Governors Meshiel Brown, Cllr John Turnbull, Headteacher Judith Hodgson with pupils Oliver Sherratt, Elisha Dawson and Ryan Turnbull Credit: Durham County Council

“This demonstrates Durham County Council’s commitment to investing in the future of our young people by delivering a world class 21st century education for generations to come.”

– Cllr Ossie Johnson, Cabinet member for children and young people’s services

Advertisement

Police crackdown on drink and drugs

Cleveland and Durham police have been cracking down on drink and drug driving.
Cleveland and Durham police have been cracking down on drink and drug driving. Credit: PA Wire

59 people put their lives and the lives of innocent road users at risk during the recent summer drink and drug drive campaign.

Despite repeated warnings, 6% of 980 people breathalysed across the Cleveland and Durham force areas were positive, refused or failed to provide during June.

This year’s campaign coincided with the World Cup tournament, when some fixtures were being shown late at night due to the time difference.

Officers placed an extra focus on those drivers out in their cars the morning after a number of matches. Of 344 people breathalysed between 6am and 11am, five of these were positive, refused of failed to provide, equating to 1.5%.

“When compared to last year’s summer campaign, we have seen the number of people getting behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol increase.

"It is unacceptable that 59 people selfishly decided to risk their own lives, as well as the lives of their passengers and other innocent road users.

"We continuously repeat our warnings throughout the whole year and it is disappointing to see the numbers increase.

"Those that are found to be driving under the influence of drink or drugs will be dealt with robustly and can fully expect to be put before the courts.

"We will continue with these operations in order to make our roads as safe as we possibly can.”

– Chief Inspector Alison Jackson, Head of the Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit

RSPCA brand police deer allegations 'terrible'

The RSPCA has described the alleged killing of a deer with a crowbar by Durham Police firearms as "terrible".

In a statement, the animal rights group said: "This sounds like a terrible incident and we await the conclusion of the police investigation."

This sounds like a terrible incident and we await the conclusion of the police investigation. As we have no further details about what happened we feel it would be inappropriate to comment further."

– RSPCA

Advertisement

Durham Police firearms officers suspended after allegedly killing a deer with a crowbar

Two Durham Police firearms have been suspended from their usual duties after allegations emerged that they had killed a deer with a crowbar.

In a statement, the force said: "It has been brought to our attention that the deer was apparently not destroyed in the approved, humane manner."

The incident happened in early June on a road in Tanfield Lea, County Durham.

It is not unusual for firearms officers to be deployed on occasions when a deer, or other large animal is clearly suffering as the result of being struck by a vehicle and the best action would be for the animal to be humanely destroyed.

We can confirm enquiries are being made to establish the circumstances surrounding the destruction of an injured deer on a road in Tanfield Lea in early June. It has been brought to our attention that the deer was apparently not destroyed in the approved, humane manner.

Two authorised firearms officers have been moved to other duties while the facts are being established and they are not currently involved in a firearms capacity. Enquiries are being conducted by the force's professional standards department."

– Durham Police

Cost of rented accommodation falls in the North East

Renting property in the North East is cheaper than it was a year ago according to the latest figures, bucking the national trend.

Specialist insurer HomeLet's Rental Index suggests that renting in the North East is now 2.3% cheaper than it was this time last year.

Average rents across the country went up by 6.3% and now stand at £862 per month.

In the North East the figure is £507 per month on average.

Whose trainer is this? "Cinderella" thief leaves shoe clue

Nike trainer left at crime scene.
Credit: Durham Police

Police have issued an appeal for a "Cinderella" would-be thief who left his trainer at the scene of a crime in County Durham.

A man tried to steal cider from the Co-op in Tyne Road in Stanley at 9.30pm on Sunday night.

For reasons unknown, he left a grey, red and black Nike Air Max trainer at the shop before fleeing.

Police tweeted a photo of the shoe, hoping someone might recognise it.

Pedestrian dies after Chester-le-Street crash

A pedestrian has died after a crash in Chester-le-Street late last night.

The man, in his 40s, was walking westbound along the B6313 road at Bluehouse Bank at about 11.30pm yesterday (Thursday 24 July).

He was involved in a crash with a Ford Transit Tipper vehicle. He suffered a fatal head injury and was confirmed deadat the scene. The van driver, a local man in his 30s, was not injured.

Members of the public can contact Durham Police by calling 101.

Load more updates

Advertisement

Today's top stories