Courtney Edwards, Mother of 3, Dies After Being Sucked Into Engine of Plane While Working as Ground Handling Agent

Courtney Edwards, a mother of three, wasn’t spending time with her family on New Year’s Eve. Instead, she was working as a Ground Handling agent for Piedmont Airlines at the Montgomery Regional Airport in Alabama. She sacrificed her holiday with her children to ensure travelers got to their destination on time. 

Unfortunately, tragedy ensued when Edwards was walking towards the rear of the plane with an orange cone in her hand – the engines of the plane were still running at the time. After walking too close to one of the engines, she was lifted off her feet and engulfed into one of the plane’s engines – dying instantly. 

Courtney Edwards, Mother of 3, Dies After Being Sucked Into Engine of Plane While Working as Ground Handling Agent | Courtney Edwards, a loving mother of three, was working as a Ground Handling agent at an airport when she was suddenly and fatally sucked into a plane's engine.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) immediately launched an investigation and has since released a report (on January 23rd) regarding the incident. According to their findings, Edwards was warned multiple times by several co-workers to stay away from the engines until they were turned off. 

RELATED: Authorities Are Ruling the Death of Charles Hew Crooks, a Pilot Who Fell Out of His Airplane During an Emergency Landing, an Accident

When the airplane arrived at the airport, there were 59 passengers on board and four crew members. Since an auxiliary power unit – which powers the plane when the engines aren’t running – wasn’t working at the time of landing, the pilot decided to leave the two engines running during the cool-down period. 

The engines were only going to run for a few minutes until the plane was connected to power on the ground. Prior to the airplane’s arrival, the ground crew held two safety meetings to ensure everyone understood the engines would be running for several minutes and everyone was to stay 15 feet away. 

Prior to Courtney Edwards’ death, she was nearly knocked over by the engines before a co-worker reminded her to stay away. Not long after, another ground worker was told, by the pilot, to back away from the engines because they were still running. Just moments after that, Edwards was pulled into the engine. 

When Edwards made impact with the engine, the entire airplane shook – passengers were still on board. The investigation by the NTSB shows that several warnings were issued to Edwards and the rest of her crew leading up to the plane’s arrival and, had protocols been followed, the incident was preventable. 

GoFundMe Created for Courtney Edwards’ Family

A few days after her untimely death, a GoFundMe was created for Courtney Edwards’ family and three children. The page was started by Donielle Prophete, the President of the CWA (Communication Workers of America) Local 3645 – a local union that represents the Ground Handling agents at the airport. 

“Courtney was a Ground Handling agent for Piedmont Airlines, a subsidiary of American Airlines, a loving mother of 3 kids, and a wonderful daughter to her beloved mother, Natalie English of Montgomery, AL. Please know that this tragedy has and will affect her mother, family, friends, and kids for years to come,” the page reads. 

The GoFundMe page had an initial goal of $25,000. Over the past 20 days, the page has raised more than $106,000 – as of January 25th – with donations coming from more than 2,300 people. Four of those donations were for more than $1,000. All the proceeds are going to Courtney’s mother, Natalie English.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: Miley Cyrus’ Plane Makes Emergency Landing After Being Struck and Damaged by Lightning

“Our Local would like to ask you to help us raise money for her 3 beautiful kids to help cover funeral expenses, day-to-day expenses, and any other expenses needed to care for the children. All proceeds raised are going directly to her mother, Natalie, for the care of Courtney’s kids,” the page continued. 

About Mamas Uncut

Mamas Uncut is THE online place for moms. We cover the latest about motherhood, parenting, and entertainment as well – all with a mom-focused twist. So if you're looking for parenting advice from real parents, we have plenty of it, all for moms from moms, and also experts. Because, at the end of the day, our mission is focused solely on empowering moms and moms-to-be with the knowledge and answers they’re looking for in one safe space.