UPDATE: Fugitive steals SkyWest plane; commits suicide

Published 07/17 2012 08:53AM

Updated 07/17 2012 05:48PM

ST. GEORGE (ABC 4 News) - The St. George airport was closed Tuesday because of an incident involving a SkyWest plane and an employee wanted for questioning in a Colorado Springs homicide.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation was investigating the incident involving a plane that was on the ground and out of service early Tuesday morning.

A SkyWest spokesman said the incident caused the terminal building to sustain minor damage, and that some personal private vehicles were also damaged.

A St. George Police spokesman also said that some injuries were reported due to the incident.

An FBI spokesperson said that there was no ongoing public safety issue.

All St. George flights were re-routed to Cedar City for most of the day, and the airport resumed all flight operations by the afternoon.
ABC 4 has learned that the incident concerns a fugitive wanted on state charges, and that the suspect attempted to steal a plane, didn’t get airborne and ended up taking his own life.

A SkyWest official said the person appears to just have been trying to escape capture when the plane crashed into the terminal and adjacent parking lot.

The SkyWest official later identified the fugitive as 40-year-old Brian Joseph Hedglin, who was wanted for questioning in the homicide of Christina Cornejo, who was found dead in her Colorado Springs home on Friday.

Records show that Hedglin was a licensed pilot, certified as a transport pilot and also certified to land multi-engine aircraft.

Sources say Hedglin drove his motorcycle to the airport and hopped the fence at 12:30 a.m., got on board the SkyWest plane, started the engines and began to taxi the aircraft.

While taxiing, the source said the plane clipped the wing of another aircraft and went through a fence.
The source said Hedglin shot himself and was later found deceased.

St George police say they found Hedglin's body in the aisle of the plane.

A release from SkyWest later confirmed that Hedglin was a SkyWest employee who was on administrative leave at the time of the incident.

SkyWest said that there were no passengers on board the 50-passenger Canadair CRJ200, which was not in service at the time.

SkyWest said the aircraft did sustain damage; but the extent of the damage was being inspected by company maintenance and safety professionals.

SkyWest also said they were cooperating with authorities in the investigation.

Stay tuned to ABC 4 News and ABC4.com for more on this story.

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