A jet carrying 76 passengers was forced to abort takeoff at Los Angeles International Airport Tuesday after an airport employee drove a rogue vehicle onto the runway, the Federal Aviation Administration said.
The Delta Connection jet, a Kansas City-bound Embraer 175 operated by Compass Air, was headed down the runway at just under 100 mph when alarms began to sound and an air traffic controller noticed a vehicle driving straight toward the plane.
With the car just 3,500 feet away, the pilot punched the brakes as officials rushed out to stop the vehicle.
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Meanwhile, air traffic controllers were dealing with two other issues – a Delta jet forced into an emergency landing after an in-flight cardiac arrest, and an Alaska Air plane dealing with a mechanical issue.
Eager to clear the runway for the incoming heart patient, officials quickly escorted the vehicle off the runway. The driver, a longtime airport employee who was not authorized to drive there, was issued a citation, the airport said. His right to drive on airfield service roads (generally used by catering and baggage trucks) was rescinded.
After an inspection of its brakes, the Delta Connection plane circled back around and departed LAX about an hour later without incident.
The FAA is investigating.
ABC News' David Kerley contributed to this report.