NEW YORK (CBS 2) — There was a recent tragedy on the tarmac at LaGuardia Airport.
Now a family is seeking answers — and justice — after an accident that took the life of a young mother, CBS 2’s Tony Aiello reports exclusively.
Three-year-old Sheilyn was surrounded by loving family but missing the woman who loved her most – her mother, Yendy Medina.
“She looks for her pictures and she talks about her, says, ‘Boy my mom is beautiful. She’s with God,’” said Yajaira Medina, the victim’s sister.
This family of immigrants from the Dominican Republic is struggling to accept the tragedy.
Yendy Medina was 22 when she was run over by a Delta maintenance truck as she waited on a dark tarmac at LaGuardia, where she worked for a company called Aramark, cleaning airplanes in the overnight hours.
“There was a set of circumstances that were put into place because of corporate greed and inattention,” family attorney Ralph DeSimone said.
DeSimone said Delta was lax with tarmac safety procedures and the mechanic who struck medina was traveling 15 mph — three times faster than guidelines recommended.
The lawsuit claims Yendy Medina could have survived that terrible accident if she had gotten help right away, but she didn’t.
It’s an age of instant communication, but the mechanic who struck Medina, Scott McEntee, testified he didn’t have a radio or phone with him.
“I would have called my lead to let him know what happened,” McEntee said.
“Even though during the day shift and evening shift they’re required to have radios, during the midnight shift they didn’t have the same requirement,” DeSimone said.
DeSimone said precious minutes were lost as the mechanic drove almost a mile to report the accident to a supervisor.
“I just don’t understand how that could happen. All the security…,” Yajaira Medina said.
The family said at one of the busiest airports in the world it’s inexcusable that this little girl’s mom could have died that way.
In a statement Delta Airlines said the death “was tragic and we continue to express our deepest condolences to this family.”
As to the claims in the lawsuit, Delta said “We do not comment on pending litigation.”