SIX people have been injured in a three vehicle crash which closed a road near York for hours.

The crash happened on the A166 near Murton and resulted in an elderly man being airlifted to hospital and five other casualties taken to hospital by ambulance.

An elderly couple were travelling towards York on the A166 when their Ford Focus crashed with an oncoming Ford Galaxy with three children on board, police said.

The Focus then careered into the path of a Peugeot Partner also travelling towards Stamford Bridge, crashing with it head-on.

The 84-year-old man driving the Focus was flown to Leeds General Infirmary by air ambulance with serious injuries.

An 80-year-old female passenger in the Focus was taken to York Hospital with injuries not believed to be serious.

The female driver of the Galaxy was taken to hospital with injuries to her leg and her young son was treated for minor injuries but the other two children on board were unharmed, police said.

A man and a woman in the Peugeot were also taken to hospital but their injuries are not life threatening.

The fire service assisted with freeing three of the casualties, a fire service spokesman said. The road was closed for about five hours after the crash while police examined the scene.

Sgt Julian Pearson, of North Yorkshire Police’s roads policing group, said: “Unfortunately, a man was seriously injured in the collision and it is important that we investigate how the incident occurred.

“I am appealing to anyone who saw an elderly couple travelling towards York in a silver Ford Focus prior to the collision occurring to get in touch with the police as soon as possible. You may have information vital to our inquiries.

“I would also like to hear from anyone who witnessed the collision itself.”

Witnesses should call North Yorkshire Police on 101.