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Air Force Airman 1st Class Tyler M. Leidholdt has been identified as the airman who died after being struck by a bus early Monday morning, Feb. 19, near Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Leidholdt, 24, who was assigned to the 30th Security Forces Squadron, was found lying in the right lane of southbound Highway 1 just south of Timber Lane around 5:30 a.m., according to the California Highway Patrol.

Manuel Ortiz Jr. of Santa Maria was driving a 2017 Gillig Santa Maria Transit bus southbound in the right lane at about 60 mph when he came upon Leidholdt directly in his path, the CHP said.

Ortiz was unable to avoid running over Leidholdt, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

No other injuries were reported, and the incident remains under investigation, according to the CHP.

“Losing one of our own is heartbreaking,” said Col. Michael S. Hough, commander of the 30th Space Wing at Vandenberg Air Force Base. “This is tragic and we are coming together across the base to make it through this difficult time. Our thoughts and prayers are with this airman and his family.”

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Leidholdt had been in the U.S. Air Force for one and a half years and had been assigned to Vandenberg since May 2017, according to the base's public affairs office, which said memorial services will be announced at a later date.

A GoFundMe page has been created to help Leidholdt's family with services. It can be found at

According to the GoFundMe description, Leidholdt's wife, Tasha, was 8 months pregnant with the couple's first son at the time of Leidholdt's death.

Willis Jacobson covers the city of Lompoc for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Follow him on Twitter @WJacobsonLR.