ST. GEORGE — A man was taken to the hospital Sunday morning after he drove his Jeep through the door of a hangar at St. George Municipal Airport.
At 7:15 a.m., all was normal as routine airport inspections were being conducted, Airport Operations Supervisor Brad Kitchen said. During the second inspection, however, the front end of a gray Jeep Patriot was found protruding through the right rear side of the hanger. The Jeep had apparently crashed through the metal door of the hangar, kept going and then impaled a wall of the hangar. Airport Operations Specialist Tim McIntyre was the first to arrive on the scene and found the driver, a man in his 70s, sitting in his seat with an injury to his mouth.
“The man was still breathing but not coherent,” Kitchen said. “It appeared he may have suffered from a stroke.”
The man driving the Jeep owns an airplane that he stores at the airport, Kitchen said. The man’s plane was a few hundred yards away from where the accident occurred. The man said he was headed to the restroom, Kitchen said, and it was unclear if he had been planning on flying or not.
The St. George Fire Department, St. George Police and Gold Cross Ambulance responded to the west gate of the airport, located at 4550 S. Airport Parkway in St. George.
Gold Cross Ambulance transported the man to Dixie Regional Medical Center.
“There normally is an airplane in there,” Kitchen said. “He is really lucky that there was no aircraft in there. It could have been a lot worse. This has never happened before. We expect aircraft accidents, not vehicle accidents.”
The hangar the man crashed into was brought to the new airport from the old airport and is worth about $15,000, Kitchen said. The estimated damage to the hanger is $8,000. Kitchen said because the hangars are so old, most of the repair parts are no longer available. The whole hangar is likely to be totaled, he said, and will be replaced rather than repaired.
The Jeep was towed.
This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.
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