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MacDill's Dale Mabry entrance reopened after crash

TAMPA — Officials reopened the Dale Mabry Highway entrance to MacDill Air Force Base on Monday morning after a vehicle crashed into the gate overnight, causing major backups as made repairs.

Traffic was backed up on Bayshore to Gandy Boulevard and on MacDill Avenue to Gandy for a few hours Monday morning. The gate was closed roughly 10 hours.

About 1 a.m. Monday, a dark-blue Dodge Intrepid carrying four people approached the gate, officials said.

A security guard told the driver to turn off his vehicle as it came near the gate. The guard smelled alcohol, said Second Lt. Mark Graff.

"Whenever the driver was told to stop, he kind of panicked," he said. "He decided they needed to get out of there."

The unidentified driver reversed the Intrepid, hitting another vehicle behind it, and drove through the gate.

As the driver went forward, the guard activated a security barrier that comes out of the ground to block entry and stopped the vehicle.

The vehicle and the barrier were damaged, he said.

Graff said the crash was not connected to terrorism or done with malicious intent.

"It was just some folks that had been out too late" and ended up in the wrong place, he said.

MacDill officials said the four people involved were detained and are being interviewed. The incident is under investigation.

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MacDill's Dale Mabry entrance reopened after crash 04/19/10 [Last modified: Monday, April 19, 2010 3:39pm]
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