TSA releases documents related to boy's death at Birmingham airp - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

TSA releases documents related to boy's death at Birmingham airport

Luke Bresette. Source: Family photo Luke Bresette. Source: Family photo
A plaque in Luke Bresette's memory hangs in the spot where he was fatally injured. Source: Birmingham Airport Authority A plaque in Luke Bresette's memory hangs in the spot where he was fatally injured. Source: Birmingham Airport Authority
Ryan and Heather Bresette, Luke's parents. Source: WBRC video Ryan and Heather Bresette, Luke's parents. Source: WBRC video
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

The Transportation Security Administration has released documents related to the death of a 10-year-old Kansas boy killed by a falling flight display board at the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport three years ago.

TSA officials released copies of reports and witness statements on Wednesday that WBRC requested in March 2013.

Last week marked the three-year anniversary of Luke Bresette’s death. Luke was traveling with his family through Birmingham to their home in Overland Park, KS when a 300-pound flight display board fell on him and other family members on March 22, 2013.

It happened while the airport was being renovated. 

Luke Bresette died from his injuries. His mother and two of his brothers were also injured by the falling flight display board.

Seven TSA agents in various roles submitted statements of their account of what happened on that day. 

[WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT: TSA witness statements regarding Luke Bresette’s death]

In the statement given by TSA officer Joseph Riccardi, he recalled walking by the Bresette family that Friday afternoon and seeing two of the Bresette boys hanging on that flight display monitor.

He continued past the sign into the bathroom and says a few minutes later, he heard a loud boom, which he thought was a bomb.

He heard a loud scream and ran out to see the sign on top of the Heather Bresette and three of her sons. He ran to help a group of people already trying to lift it but feared they would not be able to as the unit was "very, very, very heavy."

TSA officer Jeremy Little recalled seeing a woman come through the screening line crying and when he asked her why, she told him what had just happened. Having a background as a first responder, Little ran to help.  

He encountered 5-year-old Tyler Bresette who had an injury to his temple and shoulder. He asked Tyler some basic questions as he addressed his wounds and Tyler responded by asking, "What happened and where are we?" two times.  

Fearing he had head trauma, he called for an ambulance for Tyler.

Transportation Security Manager LaShawn Hampton recounted comforting and going with older sister Anna to UAB Hospital where her mother was brought.

It was there that Hampton learned Luke had died.

She asked a nurse to call for the hospital chaplain then recalled, "I remained with the family...as the father broke the news of the son's death to the daughter. I remained with the family to give support and provided comfort to the son and daughter by holding and hugging them."

Tim Dollar, the attorney for the Bresette family, spoke about how the family is doing now three years later.

"There's no such thing as getting back to normal, nor will there ever be a normal for them, ever.  What I can say is that as time goes on, you get better in coping with the loss. I think that has happened and they've been able to restart their lives,” Dollar said.

Although one of the agents mentioned that he saw the Bresette boys hanging on the sign, Dollar said there were witnesses closer to the sign that said they did not see anyone on it when it fell.    

Dollar said both sides agreed that the sign was intended to be anchored and was not.

After the Bresettes sued various contractors involved in the airport’s renovation, they later reached a settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit. 

In February, a memorial plaque for Luke Bresette was unveiled at the airport. His family wrote the inscription, which reads in part, “In life, he taught us to live each day to the fullest with strong faith and forgiveness in our hearts.”

Read the documents released by the TSA below: (WARNING: Some of the descriptions in the witness accounts contain graphic details that may not be suitable for all readers.)

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