Police Arrest Driver After Car Crash on Airport Runway

May 29, 2007
Tacoma Narrows Airport employee arrested on suspicion of vehicular assault

A 21-year-old man who works at the Tacoma Narrows Airport was arrested on suspicion of vehicular assault Sunday after he and another man drove a Pontiac Grand Am onto the runway and crashed when they reached the end of the pavement, a Tacoma police spokesman said.

The men sped off the end of the airstrip, lost control and rolled the car shortly before 2:30 a.m., Mark Fulghum said. They got onto the runway by opening a gate at the airport, located in Pierce County south of Gig Harbor, he said.

Medics transported the men, who both live in the Gig Harbor-area, to Tacoma General Hospital with nonlife-threatening injuries. Their conditions were not available Sunday.

Investigators believe it's possible that alcohol was involved in the crash, Fulghum said.

He referred questions to the Federal Aviation Administration regarding whether the men would be punished for driving a car on an airport runway. A message left with an after-hours FAA operator was not returned.

The 21-year-old man has worked at the airport for about a year, fueling airplanes for PAVCO Flight Center, said Mike Pickett, the company's owner. He called the man "a good employee" and a "really sharp kid," but later said that what he did was "a foolish thing to do."

The car's passenger is employed as a contract worker for the FAA at the airport, Pickett said.

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Paul Sand: 253-597-8872

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