Police standoff closes part of Bay area highway after 100 mph chase

Friday, July 5th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

PALO ALTO, Calif. (AP) _ Police chased a car at 100 mph through the San Francisco Bay area on Friday before entering a standoff that shut down one of the two major southbound routes from San Francisco to San Jose.

Officers ended the ordeal after four hours by spraying the car with firefighting foam because they believed the driver had doused himself and the car with gasoline. The man, who was not immediately identified, was taken into custody.

Earlier, authorities had said there was a passenger in the car, but only one person was removed from the vehicle.

The chase started about a 40-mile drive away in Livermore when an officer stopped to assist the driver of a disabled vehicle, the California Highway Patrol said. The suspect sped off on Interstate 580 and crossed the Bay Bridge into San Francisco before heading south on U.S. 101.

The car, a red Oldsmobile with Tennessee license plates, stopped after a spike strip blew out its tires.

The southbound lanes of Route 101 were closed for miles, clogging the parallel Interstate 280.

Rush hour traffic was lighter than usual because of the holiday weekend.

It was the second major morning rush-hour traffic problem in three days in the Bay area. On Wednesday, police shot and wounded a man suspected of kidnapping his estranged wife and holding her at gunpoint on a freeway overpass near the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. The situation forced officials to close all but one of the freeways approaching the bridge from the east.