A police watchdog has launched an investigation after a motorist suffered severe head injuries when he crashed near a speed camera van.
It is believed the 20-year-old lost control of his Renault Clio as he approached the mobile unit on the A184 Felling Bypass, Gateshead on Saturday.
The man is critically ill in Newcastle General Hospital, police confirmed.
The accident is to be investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
A spokesman for the Northumbria force said: "The crash happened adjacent to the stationary camera van. The car must have been travelling towards the van.
"For reasons yet to be established the car left the carriageway and collided with the central reservation barrier.
"Parked in the vicinity was a Northumbria Police Ford Transit camera enforcement vehicle. Because of the proximity of the camera van, which was not being driven at the time, the incident has been referred to the IPCC."
He added that the driver of the car, a local man who was not being identified, was initially taken to Gateshead's Queen Elizabeth Hospital but later transferred to the intensive care unit at Newcastle General Hospital with "potentially life-threatening injuries".
A spokesman for the IPCC said: "As far as we are aware it is the first time we have had a parked police camera van incident referred to us."