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Girl falls from escalator at Triangle Town Center mall

Posted October 30, 2009

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— A 23-year-old worker at Triangle Town Center mall caught a 7-year-old girl as she was falling from an escalator Thursday evening.

Worker catches girl falling from mall escalator Worker catches girl falling from mall escalator

Theodore Erin said he was talking on the phone with his mother when he saw the girl riding up the outside of the escalator.

"I look around, and she's just hanging with both hands on the outside of the escalators," he said. "I look around, and no one else is around."

Erin said he knew the girl needed help, but he didn't want to cause her to panic.

"I didn't want to yell or anything to scare her," he said. "Hopefully, she doesn't fall before I get there."

Erin caught the girl as she fell backwards 30 feet from the top of the escalator. "I remember I was exactly under it. So when she fell, I was just there," he said.

The girl bumped her head on the floor, and her mother, who hadn't seen the fall, came running, he said.

The girl was unconscious for a while, but when the ambulance arrived, she was able to talk and interact with medical workers, Erin said. Mall representatives left messages with the girl's family Friday, asking about her condition.

Mall representatives said Erin, who started work at the mall five weeks ago, prevented the girl's injuries from being far worse.

"It feels like it did happen for a reason," he said. "It feels like if I wasn't there, who knows what would have happened?"


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  • Just the facts mam Oct 30, 2009

    Good story!

  • familyfour Oct 30, 2009

    Mom needs an attention leash for that kid!

  • oldrebel Oct 30, 2009

    Great ending to what could have been tragic. This young man was at The right spot at the The right time. Thankful he was able to do what had to be done.

  • oneday8035 Oct 30, 2009

    I saw this happen to a 3 year old many years ago and I will never forget it. His mom was more interested in the sale rack than the 3 year old that should not have been allowed to run free. We were downstairs and heard someone scream and we looked up just in time to see something fall from the top of the escalator. We thought that it was someone's bag or something but when we walked over to where it landed, we were horrified to find a little boy. A store employee came close to catching him but not close enough. We heard later on the news that he was in a coma with brain damage. They still had not found his mother when the ambulance left with him. This might not be the popular opinion but if you can't watch or control your kids..leave them at home. I get so tired of kids running out of control in stores and restaurants and if you say something then you are an evil person. My son was not allowed to leave my side in a store or his seat in a restaurant and he lived through it.

  • ladyblue Oct 30, 2009

    and for those who feel the parent has no responsibility then that is your privilege and I don't have to call you ignorant but I also hope that I'll not have to be reading in the news where in those 30 seconds someone has grabbed your kid or it has been harmed. I have learned that accidents don't happen by themselves usually as someone has to cause them.

  • paulwcooper Oct 30, 2009


    Attaboy, dude. I woulda chest bumped you, if I was there.

  • Timbo Oct 30, 2009

    Good for him.

    The mother needs to keep a handle on this child, maybe a line for leading/restraining her.

  • teacher-mom Oct 30, 2009

    Children can get away from you in the blink orf an eye. This Mom dropped the ball. I am glad the little girl is okay. I hope she learned a lesson. She is a lucky child.

  • ladyblue Oct 30, 2009

    What I get from this story is, there is another seven-year-old who thinks outside the box

    IMO I find most all 7 year olds think outside the box and that is why a parent has to think outside the box as well. If you have a child who doesn't listen then you need to pay more attention. If it's the first time the child acted up then the child doesn't get to go back to this mall for a while until they learn how to act. Maybe it's the old school of teaching children but it worked fine when raising mine. Take away the privelge and they appreciate it more next time they get to have it.

  • howdiditgettothis Oct 30, 2009

    I agree that Theodore Erin was a hero today.

    Of course, the mother should have had an eye on her child. She should really thank her lucky stars for Mr. Erin's quick thinking.