A California-based petty officer died last month in a motorcycle accident, officials confirmed.

Personnel Specialist 1st Class Michael Alvarez, 34, was riding a motorcycle on Highway 680 on July 19 at about 5:30 p.m. when he collided with a Ford F-450 pickup outside the Alameda County town of Sunol, according to California Highway Patrol and Navy officials.

“Alvarez was ejected from his motorcycle and sustained fatal injuries as a result of this collision,” California Highway Patrol spokesman Officer John Fransen said in an email to Navy Times.

Alvarez was wearing a helmet and the cause of the crash remains under investigation, Fransen said.

He became at least the 13th sailor to die in an off-duty motorcycle accident since the federal fiscal year began on Oct. 1, according to Navy records.

Originally from California, Alvarez enlisted in 2005, according to his service records.

He served at Personnel Support Detachment in Gulfport, Mississippi; Naval Operational Support Center Corpus Christi in Texas; Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 61 at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island in Washington; Coastal Riverine Group 1 in Imperial Beach, California; and Naval Operational Support Center Las Vegas before reporting to Naval Recruiting District San Francisco on July 5.

His decorations included the Enlisted Expeditionary and Aviation Warfare Specialist pins, the Army Commendation Medal, six Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, the Iraq Campaign Medal with bronze star device, the Armed Forces Service Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal and the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal.

Lauded as a model sailor and gifted mentor by those who served above and below him before his death, he was honored for his exemplary service at a May 17 ceremony in Las Vegas, shortly before he departed the command.

Geoff is the editor of Navy Times, but he still loves writing stories. He covered Iraq and Afghanistan extensively and was a reporter at the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes any and all kinds of tips at geoffz@militarytimes.com.

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