EAST ORANGE — Three Essex County sheriff’s officers were injured Tuesday night while trying to catch a stolen car.

The carjacker, who dumped the stolen Jeep, got away after the chase ended with three damaged police vehicles, including one that crashed into a wall and another that burst into flames after hitting a fence.

The chase began when a Jeep Cherokee was carjacked in Irvington around 6 p.m. and was spotted near the 7-Eleven store on Bloomfield Avenue in Bloomfield, according to Essex County Sheriff's Office spokesman Kevin Lynch.

That's where the Jeep struck a marked police vehicle hard enough to make it inoperable. The officer was injured by the deployment of the airbags, according to Lynch.

Two other police vehicles, meanwhile, chased the Jeep into East Orange.

'Wicked turn' causes more injury to police

Lynch said the pursuit was not at a high rate of speed, which under state guidelines would have required officers to call off the chase if it could potentially endanger public safety.

"At North 15th Street and Eaton Place in East Orange, there is a wicked turn. The suspect vehicle made it through there without any problem. Our guy didn't and they smacked into a wall," Lynch told New Jersey 101.5. The officer suffered a broken toe and a broken ankle.

The other police vehicle went into a chain-link fence and burst into flames.

RLS Metro Breaking News was first to report the incident.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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