Soldier and girlfriend die in County Durham car crash

Image caption The car flipped on to its roof before hitting a tree

A serving soldier and his girlfriend died when the car they were in crashed into a tree in County Durham.

The 23-year-old gunner and 22-year-old woman were pronounced dead at the scene in Blackhall Rocks, near Peterlee on Saturday night.

Durham Police said their Seat Ibiza left the A1086 coast road, flipped on to its roof and skidded into a tree.

A force spokesman said the dead woman had a four-year-old son. The names of the pair will be released later.

The spokesman said the soldier served with 4th Regiment Royal Artillery based in North Yorkshire.

He said: "The young man involved in this incident was a serving soldier and the female tragically leaves a four-year-old son.

"It is a pretty sad situation and a sad day for everyone to come to terms with.

"The incident happened just before midnight on Saturday as the silver-coloured Seat Ibiza was heading south along the A1086.

"The vehicle had just come out of Blackhall when it left the carriageway just south of the junction with Warnbrook Crescent.

"It then went over on to its roof and skidded into a wooded area, only stopping when it collided heavily with a tree.

"Both people, who are from the Blackhall area, sustained serious injuries and were pronounced dead at the scene."

No-one else was in the vehicle.

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