An elderly woman has died and four other people, including girls aged five and two, are in hospital after a head-on car crash on a country road.
The dead woman, believed to be in her 80s and from Hertfordshire, was a passenger in a Vauxhall Astra which collided with a Volkswagen Polo travelling in the opposite direction near Colchester this afternoon, Essex Police said.
The driver, a woman in her 50s from Mayland, near Chelmsford, was taken to Colchester Hospital with injuries not believed to be serious.
The 37-year-old female driver of the Polo and the five-year old girl passenger are in the Royal London Hospital with "serious injuries" after the crash on Peldon Road in the village of Little Wigborough just after 1pm.
A two-year-old girl who was in the Polo was taken to Colchester hospital with minor injuries. They are all believed to be from Chester.
An Essex Police spokesman said: "An investigation into the cause of the collision is being carried out by the Essex Police Serious Collision Investigation Unit. Any witnesses to what happened or who saw the vehicles on the road prior to the collision are asked to call the unit on 101."