A Lompoc man killed June 28 in a single-vehicle crash just south of Santa Maria following a pursuit with Vandenberg Space Force Base security personnel has been identified. 

Jose Mario Velez, 47, died after his 2017 GMC Denali 2500 went off the road south of the "Y" interchange of highways 1 and 135 shortly before 10 p.m., according to Raquel Zick, a Santa Barbara County Sheriff's spokeswoman. 

The pursuit began at about 9:30 p.m. when personnel from Vandenberg's 30th Security Forces Squadron allegedly observed the Velez driving erratically. 

The security forces attempted to initiate a traffic stop on Velez's vehicle, but he fled heading northbound on Highway 1, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Jason Traughber. 

The pursuit reached an area just south of the "Y" interchange when the Denali failed to negotiate a turn in the road, veering right and colliding into milepost marker 36.19. 

The GMC continued forward in a northerly direction along the dirt shoulder until it drove off the embankment, becoming airborne and turning midair before landing on its roof along the right-hand shoulder of Highway 135, according to Traughber. 

The vehicle slid on its roof until it crashed into a metal guard rail located on the north shoulder of eastbound Highway 13. Velez was declared dead at the scene, according to Traughber. The CHP report indicated the Velez was not wearing safety equipment.

"The individual fled at a high rate of speed, then unintentionally left the roadway, which resulted in a single accident," Long said. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the deceased driver."

The crash is under investigation by Vandenberg officials and the CHP.

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