CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A 3-year-old boy has died from injuries sustained after a fall at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, the Mecklenburg County Medical Examiner's Office says.
The toddler, Jaiden Samir Cowart, fell in a stairway near the baggage claim area around 9 p.m. on Sep. 25, according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police.
Airport officers and Medic arrived on the scene to investigate and began first aid. Jaiden was taken to Atrium Health with life-threatening injuries. He was later pronounced dead by hospital staff.
"Jaiden's life has been tragically cut short by an unfortunate incident and we would like to honor his name and keep his memory alive," a GoFundMe for his funeral expenses reads. "Jaiden is an energetic, loving and playful 3-year-old with a witty sense of humor and an appetite for fun and adventure. Jaiden's favorite cartoons are Peppa Pig, Paw Patrol, and PJ Masks."
Witnesses told FOX 46 they saw the little boy covered in blood and believed he had suffered a head injury. The Medical Examiner's Office later confirmed that Jaiden died from blunt force injuries after falling from a height.
"We were walking down the steps to the baggage claim area and my husband heard the mom screaming for help. He ran to her and I followed. The only thing I could see was blood pouring from his head and nose," Krista Harris said.
Harris said she and her husband helped administer aid to the 3-year-old before EMTs arrived.
"My husband used his shirt to put pressure on the boy's head until EMTs finally showed up," Harris said. "I believe he fell between the gap between the glass wall railing and the escalator from the ticket counter down to the baggage and landed on his head."
A woman, who wanted to remain anonymous, said she was in the bathroom at the airport when she heard a commotion and went to see what it was.
"I came out and figured it was an older person had fallen but it was a little boy. There were two to three people with him calling for help," she said. "They just applied pressure to his head. There was a lot of blood."
Both Harris and the other woman say they would like the airport to look into safety measures, and wondered why it took as long as it did for EMTs to arrive.
"I'm shocked by the amount of time it took to get medical help in an international airport," Harris said. "There is no justification for the time it took to get help."
"The EMT or whoever works at the facility were taking their sweet time. I actually yelled at them to hurry up, they were casually walking," the woman who wanted to remain anonymous told FOX 46.
Charlotte-Douglas released a statement, saying: "Our thoughts are with the family during this very difficult time. We are extremely grateful for the quick response of our emergency crews and law enforcement officers and for the medical assistance and care they provided. We would refer you to CMPD regarding any additional questions, as they are the local law enforcement agency who responded and investigated."