The collision happened on the southbound side of the motorway, just south of junction 51 at Leeming Bar, at about 7:10am on Saturday April 13th.
It involved a red Audi A1 car and a silver Hyundai IX35 car, both of which were travelling south on the motorway.
In a statement, North Yorkshire Police said the 70-year-old male driver of the Hyundai suffered serious injuries and was taken to James Cook Hospital by air ambulance, where he remains in a “critical” condition.
The female passenger was also taken to the hospital with suspected serious injuries before being treated and discharged.
Police said the Audi driver, described as a 21-year-old blonde woman from the Midlothian area, was also taken to hospital with minor injuries before being arrested in connection with the crash.
The police statement said: “She was arrested by police in connection with the collision and has subsequently been released under investigation while enquiries continue.”
Officers said they believe the red Audi involved had travelled from Scotland before the collision.
Police are appealing for anyone who saw the vehicle, driven by a woman with blonde hair on the A1 between Midlothian and Leeming prior to the collision, to contact them.
The statement added: ”In particular, officers are keen to speak to anyone who may have dashcam footage which may have captured the red Audi between the A1(M) in the area of Newcastle and the scene of the collision at Leeming.
“Any witnesses are asked to contact Traffic Constable Chris Garbutt or Traffic Sergeant Andy Morton at North Yorkshire Police, by calling 101 and quoting reference number 12190066191.”
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