As of 2:30 p.m. the following day, Aug. 2, Ellswood was no longer in custody at the Siskiyou County Jail. Alcohol impairment is suspected to have been a factor in the incident, the Mount Shasta Area California Highway Patrol said.

A Sacramento man who was reportedly driving in an unsafe manner on Interstate 5 Thursday afternoon swerved to avoid slower traffic in a construction zone and crashed his Lexus SUV into a dirt berm, which caught on fire and set nearby vegetation ablaze.

Ryan C. Ellswood, age 34, walked away from the accident with minor injuries, prompting a short manhunt, after which he was eventually located “enjoying Burger King, pretending (poorly) to not have been involved,” the Mount Shasta Police Department said.

As of 2:30 p.m. the following day, Aug. 2, Ellswood was no longer in custody at the Siskiyou County Jail. Alcohol impairment is suspected to have been a factor in the incident, the Mount Shasta Area California Highway Patrol said.

The accident occurred on northbound I-5 just north of the Lassen Lane overpass at approximately 3 p.m. on Aug. 1, CHP reported. The suspect swerved to the right to avoid vehicles in front of him and lost control of his Lexus, driving into a rough wooded area and a dirt berm, CHP said.

According to California Highway Patrol logs, the suspect was seen stopping traffic and asking for someone to pull his car out before the fire began.

Shortly after the crash, the Lexus caught fire and within moments was fully engulfed in flames, the CHP said. Approximately one acre of brush caught on fire, sending a large plume of smoke into the sky and alarming many onlookers as emergency vehicles made their way to the accident scene with sirens and lights.

CAL FIRE units, as well as the Mount Shasta Fire Department arrived to extinguish the flames while northbound traffic was diverted to the fast lane around the accident scene. Because of the fire’s proximity to Eskaton Manor and Kingston Road, preparations were made to evacuate the area, including Doctor’s Park.

While firefighters worked to stop the fire, which was ultimately contained to the west side of Kingston Road, law enforcement officers searched for the suspect.

When Ellison was located, a little more than an hour after the crash, he was covered in scratch marks and grass stains. He smelled of alcohol and gave a false name to officers, said MSPD.

CHP took custody of the suspect, who was taken to Mercy Medical Center Mt. Shasta and medically cleared.

Ellswood was booked into Siskiyou County Jail where he was booked “for multiple violations,” the CHP reported.