LEMOORE, Calif. - Two people who were killed when their SUV crashed through a gate and into a fighter jet at a central California naval base have been identified.
Kings County Chief Deputy Coroner Shawn McRae says 29-year-old Anthony Castillo and 36-year-old Melissa Miller, both of San Jose, were killed in the crash at the Naval Air Station Lemoore late Wednesday.
The Navy base does not appear to be an intended target. The two who died were not affiliated with the military, said Capt. Monty Ashliman.
He said authorities are investigating what started the chase and how the driver broke through the secured gate.
Authorities say the chase began late Wednesday, when a California Highway Patrol officer stopped to check on a Jeep Grand Cherokee parked on the roadside. The driver sped off, driving erratically and going the wrong way at one point on a highway. The driver eventually smashed through a gate at the base and hit the FA-18E Super Hornet parked about 7 miles inside the base, Ashliman said.
"Regardless of procedures we have in place, something went wrong and we had a tragic accident," Ashliman said. "We have got to figure out a way to prevent that from happening in the future."