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Palo Alto Freeway Standoff Ends

There´s been a dramatic end to a standoff with a gasoline-soaked driver near Palo Alto that blocked a busy freeway for hours.

A SWAT team stormed the man´s disabled car on Highway 101 near Palo Alto and filled it with firefighting foam before hauling the driver out around 9:45 a.m. He was taken to Stanford University Medical Center in handcuffs for evaluation.

The freeway was reopened about half an hour later and traffic is now moving smoothly.

The reddish Oldsmobile with Tennessee plates was halted near the University Avenue exit by spike strips. The driver had led California Highway Patrol officers on a high-speed chase from Livermore.

Reports the driver had doused himself with gasoline led to the use of foam. There was no immediate word on why the man tried to evade officers or if he was armed.

CHP Officer Richard Franklin says that shortly after 4:30 a.m. a highway patrol officer stopped on Interstate 580 to help what he thought was a disabled car.

The driver sped off. He hit speeds as high as 100 miles per hour as he raced across the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and south on 101.

It´s the second time this week the morning commute has been snarled by a closed freeway. On Wednesday, police shot a man suspected of kidnapping his estranged wife and holding her at gunpoint on an overpass near the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.