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Stolen Tesla Crashes, Splits in Half in Multi-Car Wreck

The driver of the luxury electric car, stolen from a Tesla store and repair center, led police on a 100-mph pursuit before crashing into vehicles and a light pole

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    NEWSLETTERS

    La Brea Avenue was shut down for hours as investigators analyzed a particularly destructive car accident. Deputies say the driver of a stolen Tesla, who was in critical condition, caused the mayhem. Gordon Tokumatsu reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Friday, July 4, 2014.

    An overnight high-speed pursuit ended when a stolen Tesla Model S crashed into several vehicles and split in half after striking a light pole early Friday morning, leaving the driver in critical condition, two officers hospitalized and half of the car wedged in a synagogue. 

    Multiple vehicles were involved in the fiery wreck after the chase, which reached 100 mph, and at least four people were hospitalized. At least four vehicles sustained significant damage and debris was scattered throughout the 1200 block of North La Brea Avenue, which was temporarily closed for the investigation.

    Half of Tesla Wedged in Synagogue After Fiery Crash

    [LA] Half of Tesla Wedged in Synagogue After Fiery Crash
    The other half of the vehicle, stolen from a Tesla store, was on fire in the street after the pursuit crash in West Hollywood. Adrian Arambulo reports for the NBC4 News at Noon on Friday July 4, 2014.

    Police confirmed that the Tesla driver -- the vehicle was stolen from a Tesla store -- crashed into a Honda that was carrying five people before striking a light pole and slicing the car in half. Two of those people in the Honda are in serious condition and one is in critical condition, police said.

    The front half of the Tesla was on fire in the street. The other half was wedged into what appeared to be the synagogue entrance.

    "I have never seen half of a car wedged into a building before," said Sheriff's Lt. Michael White.

    Police Pursue Ford Mustang Driver

    [LA] RAW: Authorities Arrest Ford Mustang Driver After High-Speed Pursuit
    Authorities arrested a person who led officers on a high-speed pursuit that began in the West Covina area Friday morning. The driver eventually fled a Ford Mustang and surrendered to authorities.

    The luxury car's driver was ejected from the vehicle and is in critical condition.

    "Everybody who was looking was screaming," said witness Francisco Estrada. "They tried to help but there was too much smoke."

    Another witness said there was "debris everywhere" for at least a block-long stretch of street.

    "Debris was on fire, sparks were coming from debris," said the witness, who identified herself as Anne.

    The high-speed pursuit started around 12:50 a.m. when police tried to pull over the stolen high-end electric vehicle near the intersection of La Brea Avenue and Don Ricardo Drive in Ladera Heights.

    Two officers injured when their patrol vehicle struck a median were hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries. They were treated and released later Friday morning.

    NBC4's Jonathan Lloyd contributed to this report.