The centre of Ongar has been shut down following a dramatic car crash.

The High Street has been completely closed between Banson's Lane at the Sainsbury's store and The Borough following a crash earlier this afternoon.

According to bystanders, a police car was chasing a van down the road in the moments leading up to the smash.

One shop owner who witnessed the incident said: "It is literally outside our door.

"A police car was chasing a van through the high street.

"There are forensic officers out there now."

Motorists have been advised to avoid the town centre as traffic builds between Love Lane and Coopers Hill.

A spokesperson for Brentwood and Epping Forest Community Policing Team said: "Essex Police are currently dealing with an incident in High Street, Ongar which has resulted in the road being closed in both directions.

"Please avoid this area for the foreseeable future."