An 82-year-old passenger en route to a Hawaiian cruise sustained serious injury late last month when she fell off the stairs leading to a jet bridge at LAX airport. Witnesses said she fell 15 feet to the ground, and her friends say she suffered a brain injury.
The woman was injured after she arrived on a flight from Oregon to California. After descending the stairs from her turboprop plane, she walked across the tarmac to another staircase that connected to the terminal via a jet bridge. However, when she reached the top of the stairs on her way onto the jet bridge, she lost her balance and fell through an opening where the guard rail was not in place. She was taken to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles and placed in intensive care.
A witness to the accident watched the victim lose her balance and topple over, falling 15 feet to the ground below. He said the woman's friend tried to hold her to keep her from going over, and that his own wife tried to hold the woman's friend to prevent her from falling off too. The airline that operated the flight wouldn't say anything about the accident except to acknowledge that it had happened.
The woman taught school for 35 years and has been active in her Oregon community, volunteering at a medical clinic and finding greeters for her church. Friends said that members of her church started an e-mail prayer chain on her behalf. The woman's friends also said she had been eagerly anticipating going on the cruise.
Source: Mail Tribune, "82-year-old who fell at LAX a retired Phoenix teacher," Damian Mann, Dec. 8, 2011