Newly released video shows moments leading up to 3-year-old’s fatal fall from airport escalator

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Surveillance video released by Charlotte-Douglas Airport shows what led up to a three-year-old boy’s fatal fall from an escalator. 

The tragic incident happened around 9 p.m. on Sep. 27. In the moments before Jaiden Cowart fell, you see him and his sister playing on the escalator near the baggage claim area.

Seconds later, the escalator takes him and his sister up. They’re carried away and Jaiden later falls. His sister fell too but was caught by a nearby construction worker.

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The video shows chaos break out after Jaiden’s mother, Jiterra Lightner, and witnesses all over the airport realize he was hurt. 

Jaiden was taken to the hospital where he died a few days later. The Medical Examiner’s Office later confirmed that the cause of death was blunt force injury to the head. 

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Warrants say Lightner allowed him to play unsupervised near the escalator. She has been charged with misdemeanor child abuse. 

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