Just after 11:45 p.m., a 23-year-old man was driving a BMW with a 21-year-old woman in the passenger seat. The CHP says for some reason, the car went off the road on eastbound Hwy 24 heading into the northbound I-680 connector in Walnut Creek.
It hit a couple of trees launched into the air, cleared a six foot tall chain link fence, landed on its roof and crashed through a building, barely missing an ambulance in the parking lot with two paramedics inside. Those same two paramedics immediately jumped in and provided medical assistance.
Contra Costa County Fire spokesperson Robert Marshall has seen a lot of accident scenes, but few like this one. "If they had encountered anything that was every remotely solid it probably would've been a different outcome," he said.
It took Contra Costa firefighters 40 minutes to free the two badly-injured people inside. "Saw the car inside the building and thought how in the world did he get there. It's unbelievable the way it made it from the freeway, down through the bushes, through the fence and into the building," building owner Russ Mitchell said.
The man and woman survived, but both were hospitalized with major injuries.
There just happened to be an AMR ambulance lot sitting in the parking lot, waiting for a call. "To have an ambulance here who actually witnessed the thing, was able to call 911 right away, get our crews here so that we could get the extrication started was huge," Marshall said.
The car ended up, upside down inside a yoga studio. "Just on Wednesday nights, the only night that we really have classes in there, so thank God it happened when it did and nobody was in there," Just Be Yoga owner Jenni Wendell said.
Lafayette police had been chasing the BMW moments earlier for speeding, but had called off that pursuit seconds before the crash.
The CHP says it does not appear the driver was under the influence for alcohol or drugs.
ABC7 News Reporter Matt Keller contributed to this story.
Car crashes into Walnut Creek building after flying off nearby 680. 2 people taken to hospital w/ major injuries. pic.twitter.com/ZMuOptARfQ— Matt Keller (@MattKellerABC7) March 3, 2016
BMW crashed into Walnut Creek building during police pursuit on 680. 2 passengers survived w/major injuries. pic.twitter.com/5hPWNZDejX— Matt Keller (@MattKellerABC7) March 3, 2016