Woman crashed through airport gate, drove on runway

Runway update at Meridian Regional Airport
Runway update at Meridian Regional Airport(WTOK)
Published: Mar. 30, 2022 at 8:41 PM EDT
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FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — A Florida airport shut down for about a half-hour over the weekend after a woman crashed her car through a secured gate and drove across a runway, officials said.

The 42-year-old Clewiston woman sped through a marked and restricted gate Saturday afternoon at Southwest Florida International Airport near Fort Myers, according to an airport police report.

After entering airport property, the woman drove across an active runway and headed toward a Spirit Airlines plane, officials said. She eventually stopped in front of ground services employees, and police officers took her into custody.

The woman refused to say why she had crashed through the airport gate, investigators said. The woman screamed obscenities at police and threated to blow their brains out, the arrest report said.

According to a Lee County Port Authority statement, the woman’s sedan wasn’t on the runway during any movement by aircraft. After the woman’s arrest, workers inspected the airfield and runway for damage, officials said. Normal operations resumed after 21 minutes, and no flights experienced significant delays.

The woman was charged with reckless driving, criminal mischief, violating a designated operational area of an airport and threatening a public servant. She was released from jail Wednesday on $205,500 bond.

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