Driver crashes car into airport tower

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Driver crashes car into airport tower

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A drunken driver crashed his car into the air traffic control tower at the Fargo airport early Saturday, authorities said.

The wreck about 2 a.m. damaged the tower's entrance, but not the operations area. No flights were believed to be in the area at the time, airport director Shawn Dobberstein said.

A control center in Minneapolis monitored the air space for half an hour before Fargo resumed normal operations, said Tony Molinaro, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration.

The FAA will review security around the tower, Molinaro said. There are no barricades around the tower, though fences are in place elsewhere on airport property.

The car hit a fence and at least four vehicles on the airport grounds. After the driver crashed through the glass doors of the control tower, "he attempted to back out and get out of it, but he got hung up on a vehicle just outside the entryway," police Sgt. Kevin Pallas said.

Damage was in the thousands of dollars, Pallas said.

Nicholas Yellowbird, 19, was arrested on several charges, including felony reckless endangerment, felony criminal mischief and drunken driving. He was jailed pending a court hearing Monday.

A message left for Yellowbird at the jail was not immediately returned.

Pallas estimated he was on the airport grounds 10 minutes before the wreck. He said Yellowbird told a custodian he was a security guard and was at the airport to pick up Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2002/07/13/tower.htm
 
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