Driver dies after hitting palm tree in East County police chase

Data pix.

LA MESA, Calif. -- A driver being chased by police was killed when he crashed into a palm tree in La Mesa early Monday.

Police said they were originally called to an apartment complex near Interstate 8 and Lake Murray Boulevard about a fight. When officers showed up, they spotted a red Nissan speeding away.

They followed the driver, who only made it a short distance before losing control and hitting a palm tree on Parkway Drive. The force of the crash was so severe that the car ended up across the street from the tree that it hit.

Firefighters tried to rescue the man but couldn't pull him from the mangled wreck, eventually pronouncing him dead at the scene. His identity was not immediately released.

Investigators believe the driver had been drinking alcohol, La Mesa Police Department said.

Parkway Drive was closed between Mary Fellows Avenue and Guessman Avenue for several hours while crews cleared debris.

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