Vehicle plows into tree after fleeing Palo Alto sideshow

A car fleeing a sideshow in Palo Alto sideswiped a patrol car, then slammed into a tree, sending the occupants of the fleeing car to the hospital with major injuries early Friday morning, police said.

A police officer spied the sideshow involving about four vehicles at the east end of Embarcadero Road near the Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve around 1 a.m. while on routine patrol, according to police. Other officers arrived and they approached the sideshow, lights and sirens blaring.

The suspect vehicles fled westbound Embarcadero Road at a high rate of speed as the officers approached eastbound. The lead vehicle, a red 2013 Chevrolet Camaro, hit the left front tire of a police vehicle that was canted to perform a U-turn, police said.

The Camaro continued westbound for about a quarter-mile, then veered off the roadway and hit a tree on the north side of the 1900 block of Embarcadero Road, according to police. The other cars continued speeding westbound, and the officers did not pursue.

The officers called the Palo Alto Fire Department and rendered medical aid to the two people who were in the Camaro, police said. The two sustained major injuries and are in intensive care, according to police.

The Camaro's driver is an East Palo Alto man in his twenties and the passenger is a woman in her twenties, police said. Neither was wearing a seat belt, according to police. A small dog that was in the car was taken to an emergency veterinary hospital, but had to be euthanized because of its injuries.

No officers were injured and the patrol was drivable after the incident, police said.   Police are investigating and anyone with information is asked to call the 24-hour dispatch center at (650) 329-2413.