BRADENTON (FOX 13) - The signs on the grounds of the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport are clear: Stay out or face the penalties. A Manatee County woman did not heed the warning Wednesday when she rammed down a fence and drove onto the property, according to airport officials.
"I can’t explain why somebody would want to do that," the airport's vice president, Mark Stuckey said. "It seemed to drive somewhat slowly around and then just out another gate," he said.
The driver, Mary Dostal, is accused of crashing her vehicle through the gate of Universal Flight Services. She drove around for about 90 seconds.
"We were able to keep that vehicle on camera to see what their intentions were and to see where they were going," said Stuckey.
Officials watched as the vehicle ran into and dented the wing of a small plane.
Airport police rushed to the scene, but by the time they arrived, she headed for the exit and crashed her way out.
"Everybody was kind of in a frenzy as far as knowing what had happened and how this happened," said the vice president of Universal Flight Services, Jacob Kyser.
Kyser estimates the damage around $10,000 to $15,000.
"It is upsetting. It does affect our business," he told FOX 13.
A Manatee County deputy caught up to Dostal about a block away from the airport. According to an arrest report, she told the deputy she thought she was in Ohio.
The report said she had an open box of wine in the car and a breath test measured her alcohol level almost 0.15.
Dostal was charged with a DUI by the Manatee County Sheriff's Office. The airport police are still conducting their investigation.
A new law makes her actions a felony.
"Who knows? She could have mistaken this for anything," Kyser pointed out. "Luckily it could have been way worse than it is. It is repairable. That’s what insurance is for. We are just lucky and thankful nobody got hurt."