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Video: Palm Tree Stops Car Chase In Its Tracks

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Another day, another car chase. But this particular pursuit, which played out southeast of downtown on Friday morning, ended a little differently. The fleeing driver of a white Toyota 4Runner was stymied not by police or passerby, but rather one of the ultimate icons of Los Angeles: the humble palm.

NBC 4 reports that the driver exited onto Florence Avenue after swerving across lanes on the 5 and 605 freeways during a pursuit that at times reached speeds as high as 90 mph (which is fast, albeit still 10 mph slower thanAl Gore III in a Prius).

After making a turn, the driver the entered the median, heading straight for the palm.

As you can see, the graceful palm teetered for a moment before giving way. Frank McDonough, a botanist at the Los Angeles County Arboretum, told LAist that he couldn't recall ever having seen a crash between a car and a palm tree, which, as he put it, "is pretty interesting considering how many palm trees we have."

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According to McDonough, who did not witness the crash, it's possible that the effects of the drought hastened the fair palm's demise. When drought-stricken and not properly watered, a palm tree's roots will go dormant, making it fairly easy to uproot. McDonough speculated that this could have been why the palm did not withstand the crash.

Zooming in, it's clear that the driver seems to be able to tell that this isn't going to end well for him as soon as he hits the palm tree, and he promptly starts to exit the car:

End scene.

According to NBC 4, that same vehicle was involved in a separate pursuit Thursday night after a hit-and-run accident. It is not yet known if the same driver was behind the wheel during both incidents.

The full video is here:

[h/t: @laura_nelson]