Vandenberg airman killed in crash near base identified

Victim was laying on the roadway at time of crash


The Vandenberg airman killed in a crash near the base on Feb. 19 has been identified as 24-year-old Airman First Class Tyler M. Leidholdt.

Leidholdt had been in the U.S. Air Force for one and a half years and assigned to Vandenberg since May 2017, according to Vandenberg Air Force Base officials.

The California Highway Patrol says in its collision report that "Leidholdt was lying within the #2 traffic lane of southbound [Highway] 1 south of Timber Lane" when a Santa Maria Transit Bus being driven by a 60-year-old Santa Maria man hit him.

The bus was traveling in the #2 traffic lane at 60 mph, according to CHP, and was unable to avoid hitting Leidholdt who was pronounced dead at the scene. However, authorities don't believe the bus driver is at fault.

The bus driver did not suffer any injuries.

The incident was previously reported by authorities as a hit-and-run and that may still be the case while the investigation continues. Investigators are still searching for answers as to what may have caused Leidholdt to lie on the roadway in the first place. 

Base officials say memorial services for Leidholdt will be announced at a later date.


The California Highway Patrol is searching for the driver of a hit-and-run accident that left a pedestrian dead Monday morning.

According to CHP, it happened at approximately 5:30 a.m. when the suspected vehicle was headed southbound on State Route 1 near Timber Lane. When authorities arrived, they found the victim lying in the roadway.

The roadway was closed in the area until approximately 8:30 a.m.

The identity of the victim was not released by authorities but Vandenberg Air Force Base issued a statement Monday afternoon confirming that one of its airmen was the victim.

"Losing one of our own is heartbreaking...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," said the statement.

Authorities do not have a description of the vehicle. If you have any information, you are asked to contact the California Highway Patrol at 805-688-5551.

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