NAVAL AIR STATION LEMOORE, Calif. --An investigation is underway at Naval Air Station (NAS) Lemoore after a California Highway Patrol (CHP) chase ended with two people dead.
Officials say the incident started around midnight at Highway 41 and Jackson Avenue south of Lemoore. They said the suspect's Jeep Grand Cherokee appeared to be disabled and an officer stopped to help. That's when the driver took off at high speed and began driving erratically. CHP ended the ground pursuit after the driver went the wrong way on Highway 198 -- heading west in the eastbound lane.
A CHP helicopter continued to follow the vehicle as it passed through an entry point of the airfield on the operations side of the base and then crashed into an F/A-18 fighter -- about 7 miles northwest of the airbase main entrance.
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After the crash, a CHP helicopter landed and took the driver into custody. The driver was taken to the hospital where he later died of his injuries. The female passenger was pronounced dead at the scene. The suspects have not been identified.
CHP said they do not know why the couple was running from authorities. They do not believe the Navy base was intentionally targeted and the suspects are not affiliated with the military.
The United States Navy and the California Highway Patrol are investigating the incident. The Navy base is fully operational.