(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Plane Stolen & Crashed In Washington State

Suicidal Man Steals Plane

August 11, 2018 - 7:19 am

SEATAC, Wash. (AP)  - Sheriff's officials say a man who stole an Alaska Airlines plane from an airport in Washington state was "suicidal" and there is no connection to terrorism.

Ed Troyer, a spokesman for the Pierce County Sheriff's Department, says on Twitter Friday night that a 29-year-old airline employee stole the Horizon Air Q400 from Sea-Tac International Airport.

Witnesses reported seeing the plane being chased by military aircraft before it crashed near Ketron Island. There were no passengers aboard.

The man could be heard on audio recordings telling air traffic controllers that he's "got a lot of people that care about me" and that he is "just a broken guy."

Airline officials say the man who stole a plane from Sea-Tac International Airport is believed to be a ground service agent.

Authorities initially said the man was a mechanic but Alaska Airlines later said he was an employee who helps direct aircraft to gates and de-ice planes.

Officials say the "suicidal" airline employee stole an empty Horizon Air turboprop plane and took off from Sea-Tac Friday night before crashing into a small island.