A California-based petty officer died earlier this month in a traffic crash after his vehicle collided with another that was going the wrong direction on the highway.

Aviation Ordnanceman 1st Class Christopher Dismus, 34, was driving westbound on State Route 58 near Bakersfield, California, on Nov. 2, just before midnight, according to the Navy and California Highway Patrol.

Arnuflo Chavez was driving eastbound in the westbound lanes when his car collided with Dismus’ vehicle, according to the highway patrol.

Both men were the only occupants of their vehicles and both died at the scene.

It remains unclear whether drugs or alcohol played a role in the crash as the investigation is ongoing, according to the CHP.

Dismus had been assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 192 at Naval Air Station Lemoore since 2014.

Lemoore is about a 100-mile drive northwest of Bakersfield.

Dismus’ family could not be reached for comment, but Senior Chief David Garner said in a statement to Navy Times that Dismus was a petty officer who provided honest feedback and looked after his sailors.

“AO1 Dismus made a massive impact on the command and we are all grateful to have known him,” Garner said. “AO1 will never be forgotten and every Sailor attached to VFA-192 will take something away from his memory.”

Dismus is at least the fifth sailor to die in a private motor vehicle accident this fiscal year, which began Oct. 1, according to Navy records.

Geoff is a senior staff reporter for Military Times, focusing on the Navy. He covered Iraq and Afghanistan extensively and was most recently a reporter at the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes any and all kinds of tips at geoffz@militarytimes.com.

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