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Super Puma helicopter crash survivors win millions in compensation

The wreckage (right) of the Super Puma L2 helicopter which went down in the North Sea with the loss of four lives Credit: Library Image (PA)

Survivors of a North Sea helicopter crash which killed four people including men from County Durham and South Shields have won millions in compensation.

The Super Puma helicopter plunged into the sea off Shetland in August 2013.

Oil workers Duncan Munro, 46, from Bishop Auckland in County Durham, George Allison, 57, from Winchester, Hampshire who grew up in South Shields, Sarah Darnley, 45, from Elgin, Moray, and Gary McCrossan, 59, from Inverness, died.

Duncan Munro, 46, from County Durham, died in the crash

Both pilots and 12 remaining passengers escaped and now nine of the survivors have won compensation understood to be between £2.5 million and £3 million.

Lisa Gregory, head solicitor at the Aberdeen office of law firm Digby Brown, which represented the claimants, said:

Our clients were a group of people who were just going to work when their lives were changed in some of the worst ways imaginable.

The cases were about providing them with access to legal recourse and fair compensation. All of those involved in the incident will have to live with its effects and repercussions for the rest of their lives. The most important outcome is that the settlements will hopefully allow those affected by the events of that night and their families to move on with dignity."

– Lisa Gregory, Solictor, Digby Brown

Investigators found pilots failed to properly monitor the flight instruments onapproaching Sumburgh Airport on Shetland.

A final report by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) issued in March found no mechanical fault with the helicopter, which was returning from the Borgsten Dolphin support vessel to Sumburgh.

Stanley bus driver: "child thought I might be dead"

One of the drivers involved in the Stanley bus crash on Tuesday (June 3) has spoken about how one of the children on board thought he might be dead.

54-year-old Paul Stephenson of Annfield Plain was driving the Go North double decker. He was trapped for more than two hours.

Mr Stephenson has been discharged from hospital today (June 6). He sustained injures to his head and knee.


Police name victim of A68 fatal crash

Fatal road crash victim Peter Hammond Credit: Durham Police

POLICE have formally identified a man who died in a crash on the A68.

It happened last Friday when a van and a lorry collided on the outskirts of Darlington.

49-year-old Peter Hammond, from nearby Bolam village, was a front-seat passenger in the van. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

A 46-year-old man, who was a rear passenger in the van, suffered multiple injuries.

He was taken by air ambulance to the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough where his condition is 'critical but stable'.

The van driver was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and the lorry driver for death by careless driving.

Both have been released on police bail.

Durham Police describe crash 'tragedy' which kills 5

The scene of the crash on the A18 near Lincolnshire Credit: Kate Hemingway

A senior Durham police officer has used twitter to express his sympathy after a party of five from the county, including a baby, were killed in a head-on car crash earlier today. The smash happened on the A18 near Grimsby at half past twelve this lunchtime.

Dave Orford who's the temporary Assistant Chief Constable of Durham Police tweeted tonight "Absolute tragedy. We are providing all support here, and to colleagues in Humberside". The victims' car collided with a lorry. The driver of the lorry suffered minor injuries.

The road remains closed as officers investigate how the crash happened. The identities of the five victims has not yet been released however police say they were known to each other.

A local man said the road is bendy with some motorists travelling at high speeds along it. Police and fire engines remain at the scene.


Woman critical after South Tyneside crash

A woman remains critically ill in hospital after being stuck by a car on South Tyneside.

The 79-year-old was hit by a Vauxhall Corsa on the A194 Western Approach at South Shields, close to the junction with Dean Road on Friday at around 4:25pm. She was taken to Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary for treatment.

Any witnesses are being asked to contact Northumbria Police on 101.

Two children airlifted to hospital after A174 crash

Two children have been airlifted to hospital after a four car crash on the A174 near Yearby on Teesside. It happened at around 10.15 this morning. Police say the injured children were taken to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough for treatment.

Two adults also needed hospital treatment. The A174 is currently closed in both directions. Police are appealing for witnesses to the crash. They are being asked to contact the Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit on the non-emergency number 101, quoting the reference number 230130.

Five injured in Washington crash

Five people have been taken to hospital after a serious crash in Washington.

The incident happened on the A1231 eastbound just before the Barmston turnoff at around 7:27am on Sunday. A car hit a lampost, and shortly afterwards a second car crashed into an ambulance which had stopped at the scene.

Four people have been taken to the Sunderland Royal infirmary, and one person has been admitted to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead.

The road has been closed between the A182 and the A195, and is expected to remain shut for several hours.

Any witnesses to the crash are being asked to contact Northumbria Police on 101.

County Durham crash victim was pregnant

Alison Raey, 39, was killed in the crash on the A688 near Bowburn on Thursday Credit: Durham Police

The family of a woman who was killed in a three-vehicle crash in County Durham have revealed she was pregnant.

Alison Raey, 39, from Stanley was a passenger on a motorcycle that collided with a milk tanker and a van on the A688 near Bowburn on Thursday evening. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Her family have confirmed she was expecting their fourth child at the time of the incident, and say the couple had already decided to name their unborn baby 'Thomas'.

Mrs Raey's 51-year-old husband, David, and the tanker driver, were both arrested on suspicion of death by careless driving and released on bail.

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