A speeding car attempting to evade a Lafayette police officer who had called off the chase minutes before, left the eastbound Highway 24 offramp at high speed Wednesday night and crashed through the rear of a building at 2300 Boulevard Circle – eventually landing on its roof in the basement of a building housing a yoga studio and briefly trapping its two occupants.
A Contra Costa County Fire Protection District ambulance crew witnessed the crash and moved in to help after it was reported at 11:49 p.m.
Firefighters found the BMW X5 inside the building’s basement, which had been structurally compromised by the crash. They initiated procedures to removed the car’s occupants, who were effectively trapped inside, while attempting to shore up the structure.
The 23-year-old man driving the car and his 21-year-old female passenger both suffered moderate to serious injuries as a result of the crash, with the driver suffering cuts and bruises while his passenger sustained major head and neck injuries. Both people were taken to John Muir Medical Center for treatment at 12:38 a.m.
Investigators said the car left the highway offramp, glanced off a redwood tree, plowed through a chain link fence, landed on its roof and still had enough forward momentum to skid forward into the building.
Police said that at about 11:48 PM, a Lafayette police officer driving eastbound on Highway 24 near the Oak Hill Road exit saw a black colored BMW SUV driving at approximately 90 mph.
The driver began weaving between cars and went even faster. The officer activated the overhead emergency lights on his police car in an attempt to stop the vehicle but the BMW did not yield and accelerated away at a faster speed.
The pursuit was terminated due to the speeds and the officer lost sight of the BMW. Minutes later, police dispatch was advised by the California Highway Patrol that the vehicle had driven off the freeway into a building on Boulevard Circle in Walnut Creek.