Driver and Passenger Open Fire in Harrowing Chase That Ended With a Freeway Takedown

Shots were fired, sparks flew and a chase ended when a driver bolted into freeway traffic where he was clipped by a car, then tackled by deputies.

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A frightening police chase with shots fired ended Thursday night when a driver abandoned his car and was tackled by deputies on the Golden State Freeway in Sylmar as drivers swerved to avoid the melee.

The pursuit started on a call of a reckless DUI driver in the Antelope Valley. It wound along freeways north of Los Angeles, including a stretch of the Newhall Pass.

During the chase, the driver and passenger were shooting at pursuing deputies in cruisers and in a sheriff's department helicopter. Several bullet holes could be seen in the windshield of deputy's patrol car.

"This was an absolutely out-of-control chase," said Lt. Robert Westphal. "We're amazed no one got injured. It very easily could have had a tragic outcome."

The deputies did not fire during the pursuit, the sheriff's department said.

The black Audi's dislodged hood flipped up after the car crashed through a gate at Lockhead Martin Aeronautics and covered the windshield. The driver continued with the hood jammed up against the windshield or about an hour.

The car slowed at one point after hitting a spike strip on Sierra Highway. It eventually was riding on rims and sparks flew.


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The driver abandoned the car on the 210 Freeway. When he stopped, he tumbled down and embankment and onto the 5 Freeway as cars whizzed by.

At one point he was clipped by a car and fell, but managed to get up when deputies converged and took him down and into custody. He suffered a gunshot wound to the leg after several deputies opened fire.

A second person in the car was arrested nearby.

The Northern California men were not immediately identified.

A deputy struck by a passing vehicle on the busy freeway suffered minor injuries.

Authorities are attempting to determine whether drugs were thrown from the car.

Lanes on the 5, 14 and 210 freeways were closed for the investigation.

NBC4's Toni Guinyard and Jonathan Lloyd contributed to this report.

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