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Two Dead After Chase Ends with Crash Into Jet At Lemoore NAS

Mar 31, 2016

An overnight high-speed chase in Kings County has left two dead after the driver sped into the Lemoore Naval Air Station and crashed into an F/A-18 fighter jet.

The California Highway Patrol began the pursuit around 11:40 last night near Hanford when a driver failed to stop for a patrol car.

CHP Officer Justin Montooth  said at one point during the chase the driver went the wrong way down Highway 198 before going to the base.

“The vehicle did go through the gate at the air station and drove onto the base, where it collided with an F/A-18 airplane,”

Lemoore Commanding Officer Monty Ashliman explained that all the entrances were staffed at the time the driver broke through. But he said determining exactly how they got through will require more investigation.

“You’re always thinking about these type of tragedies and working to prevent them before any of them happen. Unfortunately, this incident happened. Fortunately, its not the first time that it has been brough to the forefront of my mind in providing the most for the security of the installation,”

Authorities say it does not appear that the air station was the target destination for the driver, nor did the driver have any military connections. Both the driver and a passenger died as a result of the crash. The plane was damaged but it is not yet clear how badly.