BERKELEY (KCBS) — Two Contra Costa sheriff’s vehicles were damaged by fire near a freeway off-ramp at during a high-speed chase early Monday morning, in which the suspect’s vehicle was able to get away, authorities said.

Contra Costa County Sheriff’s acting Lieutenant Paul Beard said it all started about 3 a.m. when a deputy on patrol spotted a dark or black Lexus driving without its lights on near Olinda and Castro Ranch Roads in El Sobrante. The deputy attempted to make a traffic stop when the Lexus fled leading to high-speed chase on I-80.

“The pursuit lasted 11 minutes until we got here to the University Avenue off-ramp. The Lexus took the off-ramp and then quickly left the off-ramp to get back on the freeway,” beard said.

While in pursuit and driving through ice plants and other brush adjacent to the off-ramp, the exhaust from one of the deputy’s vehicles sparked a fire that eventually engulfed the patrol car in flames.

Both deputies were able to escape the blaze unhurt, but the Lexus was able to get away.

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