ST. GEORGE – An incident involving a fugitive attempting to steal a SkyWest aircraft Monday night led to the shutdown of St. George Municipal Airport Tuesday.
Marc Mortensen, assistant to the city manager of St. George, said a man identified as 40-year-old Brian Hedglin, a SkyWest employee out of Colorado, was involved in the incident that shutdown the airport.
At 12:50 a.m., a St. George City Police officer patrolling the airport perimeter discovered a recently discarded motorcycle on the east side of the airport.
Prior to the discovery of the motorcycle, Mortensen said Hedglin has used a rug to get over the razor wire that lined the airport’s security fence. From there, Hedglin somehow gained access to a SkyWest CRJ200 jet aircraft.
In an effort to locate the owner of the motorcycle, the officer returned to the terminal area where he observed a SkyWest Jet in the terminal parking lot with several damaged vehicles around the plane. The jet engines were running when the officer arrived.
Hedglin’s Attempt to taxi the plane resulted in the wings of the aircraft scraping against a jet bridge and the south side of the terminal. From there the jet went over a road and landscaping until it ended up in the parking lot.
After gaining access to the inside of the plane, Hedglin was found to be deceased via a self-inflicted gun-shot wound.
SkyWest has confirmed that Hedglin was a SkyWest employee who was on administrative leave. Hedglin was also wanted for a homicide committed on Friday, July 13, in Colorado Springs, Colo. The St. George Police Department is working with Colorado Springs Police Department to complete this investigation.
There were no passengers onboard the plane as it was not in service at the time and SkyWest is cooperating in the FBI’s continuing investigation into the incident.
Passengers scheduled to fly in and out of St. George are being re-accommodated on other flights, as well as with ground transportation from nearby Cedar City until the airport is able to reopen.
Any passengers who have questions about rebooking should contact Delta Air Lines Reservations at 800-221-1212 or United Airlines Reservations at 800-241-6522.
Copyright 2012 St. George News.