A STOLEN car being chased by police sped out of control into oncoming traffic.

The driver ran off after the three-car smash at the Dunton flyover today, Thursday, but was caught by officers soon after and arrested on suspicion of burglary, unlawful taking of a car, failing to stop and dangerous driving.

The drama unfolded just before 3pm when a Mercedes SLK 200 was stolen in Hockley.

An Essex Police spokesman said police were called and tried to stop the car, but the driver, a 19-year-old man from Southend, did not stop for officers.

As the driver raced along the Southend-bound A127 and up the slip road at Dunton, he drove into oncoming traffic on the roundabout before making a run for it.

One woman, who was in her car with a young child, was taken to Basildon Hospital suffering from shock. No one else was hurt.