Storms walloping California have toppled a giant sequoia famous for a "drive-thru" hole carved into its trunk by pioneers.

Calaveras Big Trees State Park volunteer Jim Allday told the San Francisco Chronicle the tree popular with generations of tourists went down Sunday afternoon and shattered on impact. He said it looked like the tree was lying "in a pond or lake with a river running through it."

Photos taken by Allday show chunks of the fallen icon strewn around a tourist information board.

The Chronicle reports a tunnel was carved into the tree's trunk in the 1880s to let tourists to pass through. It had allowed cars, but more recently was only crossed by hikers.