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Cyclist airlifted to hospital

A cyclist has been airlifted to hospital with serious head and back injuries after colliding with a farm trailer. It happened near Crook in County Durham at 10 o'clock this morning.

The 46 year old man was treated at the scene by a paramedic before being airlifted to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle by the Great North Air Ambulance. His condition is described as stable.

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Family "extremely proud" of Lance Corporal David Wilson

The family of Lance Corporal David Wilson, who was found dead at his army base in Iraq in 2008, have released a statement saying that he had been "fulfilling his lifelong ambition to be a soldier."

The 27-year-old grew up in County Durham and had been in the army for five years.

An inquest into his death is taking place in Crook today.

Read the full statement below:

"David was a loving and devoted family man who was the light of Michelle's life. The recent gift of their beautiful baby daughter had made his world complete.

"David wore his uniform with pride and was fulfilling his lifelong ambition to be a soldier.

"The family are extremely proud of him and our world will be a much sadder place without him. Words cannot express how much he was dearly loved."

– Statement from Lance Corporal Wilson's family

Inquest into soldier death in Iraq begins

An inquest into the death of Lance Corporal David Wilson, who was found dead in his base in Basra, Iraq, has begun.

The inquest is taking place in Crook, County Durham.

Lance Corporal Wilson, 27, who was serving with the 9 Regiment Army Air Corps, was not attacked by enemy forces and there was "no evidence to suggest anyone else was involved."

He was born in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, but grew up in the Witton Park area of County Durham.

At the inquest, Major Alistair Stocker said Lance Corporal Wilson worked in the storerooms - where everything from helicopter parts to morphine was kept.

Ian Bell inquest: accidental death

An inquest has taken place today into the death of an 8-year-old boy who drowned in the River Wear.

Ian Bell's body was discovered days after he slipped into the river while playing with friends near his home in Willington, in County Durham earlier this year.

The hearing in Crook returned a verdict of accidental death

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Family of seven saved by smoke alarm

Firefighters say a smoke alarm may well have saved a family of seven when fire broke out in an upstairs bedroom.

Two adults and five young children managed to escape from the blaze in Poplar Terrace in Roddymore near Crook after being woken by the alarm.

The youngsters and their parents were taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation. The fire gutted the back bedroom and caused significant smoke damage throughout the property.

Family of seven in hospital after fire

A family's been taken to hospital after a fire in the back bedroom of their house this morning.

Firefighters were called at 9.30 am after reports of the fire in Chestnut Grove, Roddymoor near Crook. Two fire engines and paramedics attended the scene.

A man, a woman, three girls and two boys were taken to hospital in Durham and Darlington for smoke inhalation.

Durham Police are working with the fire service to establish the cause of the fire.

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