EMERYVILLE -- A man seriously injured in a crash along Interstate 80 on Saturday was trying to leave the scene of a minor wreck in which he had been involved earlier, a California Highway Patrol spokesman said Sunday.

Police arrested the man on suspicion of misdemeanor hit-and-run and driving under the influence after the wreck, which was reported around 4:15 p.m. near the Shellmound Street exit along the eastbound part of the freeway, CHP Officer Sean Wilkenfeld said.

However, he said the crash occurred when the man was unable to negotiate the Ashby Avenue exit while traveling west. The vehicle tumbled off that exit and wound up near the Shellmound exit. The man was taken to Highland Hospital with major injuries, and his condition Sunday morning was not known, Wilkenfeld said.

It all started after a minor wreck on westbound I-80 near University Avenue in which the man allegedly collided lightly with two other cars, Wilkenfeld said. But rather than stick around, Wilkenfeld said the man drove off, using the shoulders of the freeway in an attempt to get past traffic.

He then tried to exit on Ashby Avenue but was going too fast and rolled the car off the exit, Wilkenfeld said. Police found evidence of drugs and alcohol at the scene, leading to the man's arrest, he said. Because no one else was injured¿, the man is not facing felony charges, he said.

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Contact Rick Hurd at 925-945-4789 and follow him at Twitter.com/3rdERH.