BERKELEY -- A Lexus being chased early Monday by Contra Costa Sheriff's deputies on Interstate 80 wound up in ice plant and dry grass near a freeway offramp, as did two patrol cars pursuing it, officials said.

The Lexus got away. The patrol cars caught fire.

The chase started about 3:45 a.m. near El Sobrante and ended at the Ashby Avenue exit on westbound I-80, Sheriff's Office spokesman Jimmy Lee said.

Once the pursuit reached Ashby Avenue, the Lexus and the two deputy patrol cars went into ice plant and dry grass. But the driver of the Lexus was able to drive away, Lee said.

The two patrol cars each caught fire after becoming stuck in the ice plant. One vehicle was damaged beyond repair, while the other car sustained only minor damage, Lee said.

The deputies were uninjured, Lee said.

The pursuit began after one of the deputies noticed something suspicious about the Lexus and tried to pull it over in the area of Olinda Road and Castro Ranch, Lee said. The chase, which according to Lee, reached speeds of up to 100 mph, went onto Valley View Road, Appian Way, San Pablo Dam Road and then westbound I-80, Lee said.

The cause of the fires are under investigation. A description of the Lexus driver was not released.

Contact Rick Hurd at 925-945-4789 and follow him at Twitter.com/3rdERH.



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