Two women, aged 22 and 23, have been arrested on suspicion of drink driving and dangerous driving after a crash in Shenfield left three men in hospital.
A Land Rover collided with a Ford Fiesta on Chelmsford Road in Shenfield early on Monday.
A 22-year-old Fiesta driver from Canvey was taken to the Royal London Hospital with life-threatening injuries.
Two other men, aged 21 from Benfleet and 23 from South Ockendon, were taken to Basildon Hospital with fractures.
A 23-year-old woman from Brentwood, treated at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford and a 22-year-old from Epping are being questioned by police.
Officers want to speak to any witnesses to the collision or anyone who saw the two vehicles before the crash.