Video Released of Toddler’s Deadly Fall at Charlotte Douglas Airport

CHARLOTTE, NC -New video released Wednesday shows the moments leading up to a toddler’s deadly fall at Charlotte Douglas Airport.

The three year old died in September when he fell from an escalator. The boy’s mother is charged with misdemeanor child abuse. Police say she allowed “the child to play, unsupervised, on an airport escalator.”

“She was shocked and she was devastated at the fact that she was going to be charged,” said Jiterria Lightner’s attorney, Michael Greene.

Greene spoke to WCCB Charlotte last month following her first court appearance.

“She’s obviously devastated. She just lost her child, she’s been charged with a crime. She’s now, because of these charges, she’s lost her job,” said Greene.

New video shows Jaiden Cowert, his brother and sister playing near the escalator inside the baggage claim area on September 25th.

He died in the hospital three days later.

According to documents from Charlotte Douglas Airport, a witness says the mother was “nowhere near the child.”
The surveillance video shows two of the children grab a hold of the outside of the escalator railing as it lifts them off the ground and out of view. The video doesn’t show it, but a contractor working nearby caught the little girl. Cowert holds on until he reaches the top, then falls.

Another video angle shows people nearby realize what’s happening, she then shutters in disbelief.

According to a draft memo from the Charlotte Douglas Aviation Department. The children were seen around the escalator for about an hour. The adult is out of view.

“That’s not my understanding of the facts of the case, but we’ll hammer that out on march the 30th,” said Greene, refrencing their scheduled trial date.

If Lightner is found guilty of the charges, she faces up to 150 days in jail.