Page last updated at 06:50 GMT, Thursday, 9 July 2009 07:50 UK

Funeral for crash death officer

Pc Neil Gartland
The Northumbria force has paid tribute to Pc Gartland

The funeral of a police officer killed in a series of "devastating" crashes in County Durham has taken place.

Pc Neil Gartland, of the Northumbria force, died on the A19 on 27 June when about 30 vehicles were involved in separate collisions.

His car became trapped between two fuel tankers in the initial crash on the southbound carriageway between Peterlee and Wellfield.

A private service was held in Sunderland on Thursday.

Pc Gartland was described as an "outstanding and dedicated" officer by the Northumbria force.

He was based in South Tyneside and lived in Sunderland.

The crash which killed Pc Gartland involved a petrol tanker, a diesel tanker, two lorries and a car.

Shortly afterwards, there were two further crashes involving more than 30 vehicles.

Ten people were taken to hospital with injuries.

Emergency services said traffic travelling too fast in thick fog was a contributory factor in the incident.

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