POLICE are hunting three hooded yobs after they fled a car which crashed into three parked cars before colliding with a taxi head-on.

The youths were in a blue Vauxhall Astra when the driver lost control of the car and crashed in Old Heath Road, in Colchester, on Saturday night.

After the crash, the three youngsters fled the scene and were not caught despite one brave resident giving chase.

One of the victims, Mark Watson, awoke having heard a “big bang” outside his house.

The 57-year-old said: “The actual sound which woke us was when the car crashed into the taxi down the road.

“When we looked out, we had no idea our own car had been hit - no one’s car alarm went off at all.

“People were pouring out of their homes so we didn’t go outside at the time.

“Police, ambulance and the fire brigade were here incredibly quickly.”

The brewer, who owns a black Hyundai, added: “It was only when a police officer came to the door at 1am that we realised our car had been one of those which they’d hit and we had no idea they had done a runner from it all and someone had tried to give chase.

“We just thought it was a run of the mill accident.”

Mr Watson’s car has been assessed by his insurance company and can be repaired.

He added: “It could have been worse - the worry is with these things it is that’s written off so I suppose we’re quite lucky.”

An Essex Police spokesman said: “The driver and occupants of the Astra – reported to have been three young men, wearing hooded tops – all left the scene.

“Officers would like to trace them to speak to them about the incident and encourage anyone with information get in touch.”

One man suffered minor injuries during the collision and was treated in hospital. There are no other reports of injuries.

Anyone with information should contact PC Matt Chilvers from Essex Police Roads Policing Unit on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.