(NEW YORK) — Newly released surveillance video shows a SkyWest pilot suspected of murder crashing a plane at a Utah Airport in July shortly before shooting himself aboard the aircraft.
Brian Joseph Hedglin, 40, of Colorado Springs, Colo., fatally shot himself while aboard the SkyWest aircraft after he broke into the plane at St. George Municipal Airport, according to police at the time of the incident. SkyWest confirmed that the suspect had been an employee of the company but was on administrative leave.
The surveillance video released Wednesday shows the out of control 50-seat regional jetliner bumping over speed bumps and parking strips in the rental lot before damaging 14 cars on July 17. The plane crashed into fences and blasted through light poles.
From another view of the video, Hedglin’s left wing clips the side of a terminal in the airport. Even after the plane is out of the frame, its jets continue to kick up debris from the crash.
“His left wing clipped the jet bridge probably making it inoperable,” St. George city spokesman Marc Mortenson said at the time of the incident.
Before he committed suicide aboard the plane, Hedglin had been on the run from Colorado, where he allegedly stabbed his 39-year-old girlfriend Christina Lopez Cornejo. Her body was found on July 13, four days before Hedglin crashed the plane. The two were members of the Colorado National Guard.
On July 17, Hedglin drove his motorcycle to St. George Municipal Airport and hopped a fence at 12:30 a.m. He threw a rug over the razor wire fence and used leather gloves to climb down it without detection.
Hedglin boarded the jet, a CRJ200, which was unlocked, and started the engine. After backing away from the terminal, he pulled forward to head toward the runway but clipped both the jetway and the terminal. After damaging the plane and unable to take off, he committed suicide.
With the engine still running, police and airline officials found Hedglin’s body in the passenger cabin.
A Federal Aviation Administration database confirmed that Hedglin was certified to fly commercially as a captain.
SkyWest is a regional airline based in St. George that operates flights for United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, US Airways and Alaska Airlines with a fleet of 314 aircraft.
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