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Driver Killed After Leading CHP On High-Speed Chase Through Sierra

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California Highway Patrol officer, CHP

(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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NORDEN, Nevada County (CBS / AP) — A man driving a BMW led California Highway Patrol officers on a wild high-speed chase on Interstate 80 Monday afternoon, injuring two roadside workers as the car went airborne and landed upside down.

The driver died in the crash.

The pursuit began around 1:40 p.m. when an officer tried to pull the driver over for reckless driving on eastbound I-80 near Dutch Flat, in the Sierra Nevada about 63 miles northeast of Sacramento, CHP Officer Pete Mann said.

The driver of the 1989 BMW accelerated instead. Speeds climbed to more than 100 mph during the chase, which spanned more than 50 miles over the crest of the Sierra and back.

The driver left the interstate and changed directions near Truckee, heading westbound on I-80. After crossing back over Donner Summit, the driver entered a lane closed by construction cones near the Soda Springs-Norden exit and lost control of the vehicle as he tried to turn around.

The BMW went airborne and struck two California Conservation Corps workers.

“As it was actually flipping through the air, it actually hit them as they were trying to run away,” Mann said.

A female worker suffered what he described as a “moderate head injury” and was taken by helicopter to a Reno hospital. A male colleague was treated for shoulder pain at the scene of the crash.

I-80 was closed between Soda Springs and Kingvale while authorities investigated Monday evening.

The CHP attempted to pull the driver over after receiving reports of a BMW driving erratically, but Mann said officers do not know why he refused to stop. The driver’s name was not released pending notification of next of kin.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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