A man who had been holding his wife and three children hostage on a freeway near the Sierra summit has released them to safety, officials said Wednesday night.

The main northern artery linking California and Nevada remains shut down near the summit as authorities negotiated with the unidentified man, who remains in his car with a weapon.

The man's wife and children, ages 14, 9, and 11 months, were released after negotiations and are safe, said Stan Perez, chief of the California Highway Patrol Valley Division.

Sacramento County Sheriff's Capt. Scott Jones said the man fled as deputies tried to arrest him on a warrant after his $70,000 bond was revoked. The man was scheduled for sentencing Thursday and faced more than 15 years in prison, Jones said.

It was not immediately clear what crime led to his conviction. Authorities also would not release the man's name, saying only that he was from the Sacramento area.

After deputies spotted the man in his vehicle at a fast food restaurant, he led them and CHP officers on a chase that reached speeds of 80 mph, said Sacramento County Sheriff's Sgt. R.L. Davis.

A spike strip stopped his sedan on Interstate 80 near Norden, about 90 miles northeast of Sacramento.

Officers brought a relative from Sacramento to help in negotiations.