A driver fled a stolen vehicle after it was involved in a crash.
Police said the white Ford panel van, towing a trailer, and a red and grey Subaru Legacy collided in Braintree Road, between Witham and Cressing, just after 7.50pm on Saturday.
The van driver ran from the scene and a police helicopter carried out a search but noone was found.
An Essex Police spokesman said: “Police have established the van and attached trailer were stolen from Wickham Bishops.”
Anyone with information should call police on 101.