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Man dies after trying to drive through gate at naval air station in Florida, authorities say

The driver, who was not affiliated with the Navy, died after a protective barrier stopped his vehicle at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, officials said.
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A man is dead after he tried to drive through a gate at Naval Air Station Jacksonville in Florida on Thursday morning, authorities said.

The incident happened at about 6:30 a.m. when the unidentified driver “attempted to run the Birmingham Gate at Naval Air Station Jacksonville,” the base said in a statement. “Gate sentries deployed the protective barrier which stopped the vehicle from entering the station. The driver is deceased and has no known military affiliation.”

Master Sgt. Dylan Bryan, a Florida Highway Patrol spokesperson, said the adult male driver was involved in a suspected hit-and-run crash about 2.5 miles north of the air station before he crashed into the gate. The driver fled the initial collision, which Bryan said was minor, shortly before he reached the gate.

The Birmingham Gate at Naval Air Station Jacksonville.
The Birmingham Gate at Naval Air Station Jacksonville.Google Maps

The driver was not being pursued by law enforcement or pedestrian drivers, Bryan said.

The driver died from the incident at the air station “and from the collision only,” Bryan said. The driver was declared dead at the scene, he said.

WJXT-TV of Jacksonville reported the Birmingham Gate is the southernmost entrance to the air station off U.S. 17. The main entrance is the Yorktown Gate.

The incident caused a backup on U.S. 17, WJXT reported.