Girl falls from escalator at Triangle Town Center mall
Posted October 30, 2009 4:54 p.m. EDT
Updated October 30, 2009 5:57 p.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — 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.
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?"