Sparks Fly When SUV Pursuit Driver Crashes Into Trees, Power Poles

The pursuit ended in a spinout and crash in the San Gabriel Valley community of Azusa

A pursuit driver in a stolen Lincoln Navigator spun out in a shower of sparks after crashing into a row of trees and power poles Thursday night in Azusa. 

At least four people were in custody after the pursuit and crash, which triggered a power outage in the neighborhood.

The pursuit began around 11:30 p.m. in El Monte when police spotted an SUV that was stolen earlier that day from a used car dealership. Officers tried to stop the SUV but a pursuit quickly ensued, according to the El Monte Police Department.

The driver entered the freeway in Baldwin Park and El Monte police ended their pursuit. Irwindale Police Department took over the pursuit.

The 2005 burgundy Navigator sheared a power pole near 5th Street and San Gabriel Avenue in Azusa, police said.

"Big explosions, sirens, people screaming," said witness Hector Serrano of the scene that followed. "As soon as I opened the door I just saw red and blue lights."

The driver and four passengers ran from the heavily damaged SUV, which was traveling at an estimated 60 mph before the crash. Officers in two squad cars followed the driver into a nearby parking lot, where he dropped to the ground and surrendered after he was blocked in by the vehicles.

At least three passengers were taken into custody, according to the El Monte Police Department.


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"I'm surprised they walked away," Serrano said after seeing the mangled SUV.

The driver and three passengers were transported to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries, police said.

Power was expected to be restored Friday morning.

NBC4's Jonathan Lloyd contributed to this report. 

Kevin Labeach contributed to this report.

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