A mother crashed through airport gates in Arizona on Thursday night and proceeded to drive down the runway until police stopped her. The incident has raised security concerns.
KoKo Nicole Anderson, 21, was caught speeding down a Phoenix runway at the Sky Harbor International Airport. In the backseat was her 2-month-old son; Anderson later claimed that she had no idea the child was in the car.
Police found the young mother with a pacifier in her mouth, according NewsOxy. They arrested her on suspicion of aggravated DUI as well as criminal damage, although they believe that she may have taken some other kind of drug.
The infant was delivered to Child Protective Services, who placed the baby boy with a family relative. According to reports, Anderson caused over $20,000 worth of damage, although no flights were delayed.
"We don't believe her intent was to harm here. We believe it's impairment and poor decision making," Sgt. Trent Crump said in an interview with the Associate Press.
But others are more concerned about how easily Anderson gained access to the secured area. Officials compared the security breach to that of a terrorist attack but suggested that the results could be much the same.
"Such incidents are troublesome because a vehicle that crashed into a jetliner landing or taking off could cause a catastrophe, whether it was an intoxicated driver behind the wheel or a terrorist," Jeff Price, an aviation professor at the Metropolitan State University of Denver and former assistant security director at Denver International Airport, told AP.
In the past, two other crashes have occurred at the same airport by allowing reckless drivers access to the airport runway. Sky Harbor spent $10 million to upgrade its perimeter security since the first 2005 incident according to AP, but airport officials have insisted that the correct protocol prevented further damage.
"The important thing to know here is that what was supposed to happen happened," Sky Harbor spokeswoman Deborah Ostreicher said to the AP, noting that Anderson was promptly arrested.