AP News

Woman with child drives on Phoenix airport runway


PHOENIX (AP) — A woman driving with a small child in her car crashed through a gate at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and drove on the runway, Phoenix police said Friday.

The woman rammed the airport gate around 10 p.m. Thursday and started crossing the runway, police spokesman Sgt. Trent Crump said. Officers forced the car to stop after a few minutes and detained the driver.

The incident was the latest involving vehicles crashing through the airport's gates or fences and getting onto its runways. Sky Harbor spent $10 million to upgrade its perimeter security and access gates after a man being chased by police in 2005 crashed a stolen pickup through a gate and drove onto the runways, passing several jets on a taxiway. In 2003, two teens in a stolen car crashed through a perimeter fence and drove onto the airfield. Both incidents caused brief closure of aircraft operations.

The driver and the child in Thursday's mishap were not injured, Crump said. The woman may have been impaired, but he did not elaborate.

Police said they were not aware of any flights being endangered, but airport operations were stopped for about 15 minutes because of it.

Sky Harbor's communication department declined to release any details, saying only that all operations returned to normal shortly after a "security incident."

Police also declined to release any more information until later Friday.


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