Speeding BMW Evades Sheriff's Deputies, Slams Into Walnut Creek Yoga Studio

Building owner Russ Mitchell said it's lucky the car didn't fly 500 feet off the freeway any later in the day.

A BMW being chased by sheriff's deputies flew off Interstate Highway 680 and into a yoga studio training site in Walnut Creek, authorities said.

Contra Costa County Fire Dept. Battalion Chief Ed Gonzalez said the car also wedged itself upside down in a two-story building in the 2300 block of Boulevard Circle, which houses among other businesses, My Just Be Yoga. The accident was reported at 11:50 p.m. Wednesday. The 23-year-old male driver and 21-year-old female passenger suffered injuries, and needed to be extricated before being sent to the hospital. The driver suffered a skull fracture to the back of his head and his passenger broke her neck, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The crash happened long before yoga classes were supposed to begin at 10 a.m. And building owner Russ Mitchell said it's lucky the car didn't fly 500 feet off the freeway at the Highway 24 interchange any later in the day. "If it was during daytime, there'd be cars in the area and people in the building," he said. "Fortunately, none of that was occurring."

Yoga studio owner Jenny Wendell added later that she was also glad that the accident didn't occur at her main studio. And Darryl Choy, who works nearby at Magical Massage Tour, said the nearby businesses would see if they could help out by offering any available space.

What's also semi-fortunate in this case is that paramedics Don Robnett and David Styles just happened to be near the crash when it occurred, when the 2014 SUV tumbled deep into the bottom of the building. "They were lucky we were nearby," Styles said. "Otherwise no one would have found them for  a while."

CHP Officer John Fransen said Contra Costa County sheriff’s deputies were chasing the BMW about 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, but authorities did not reveal more details. The chase ended, however, moments before the crash.

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