Witness, state question whether adult was watching toddler whose fingers were severed
TIGARD, Ore. - A woman who was there when a toddler had his fingers severed in a mall escalator is questioning if any adults were paying attention to him when it happened. An initial report from the state, released on Thursday, says the boy was "unattended."
KATU News attempted to contact the 2-year-old boy's family Thursday night to learn more about how the accident happened Wednesday night at Washington Square Mall.
The boy's grandmother told KATU News his parents are with him at the hospital. The state says he was taken to Randall Children's Hospital in North Portland. The boy's family isn't ready to talk about what happened.
The initial state report also says the boy "attempted to run up the down escalator." The boy fell and his fingers got caught in the grated steps. The mother pulled the boy up to free him, which resulted in the severance of the two middle fingers on his left hand.
Crews were able to locate both of the fingers in the escalator after the accident. It's unclear if doctors were able to reattach them.
A woman who witnessed part of the accident said seeing the aftermath made her ill.
"I saw him fall at the bottom," said Danielle Dankenbring. "He was at the bottom and I saw a little trip-up. I look on the ground and there was like blood on the ground. And I was like 'what is happening?'"
Dankenbringe works at a kiosk a few feet from the escalator.
"I see this little boy's hand and I couldn't tell what was happening because it was covered in blood and it freaked me out," she said. "I started to feel sick to my stomach because he was only like 2 years old."
Dankenbringe said she couldn't tell if adults were watching the boy.
"Not on the escalator but at the bottom of the escalator there was a group of girls or a group of people," Dankenbringe said. "I feel really bad and I hope he recovers."
The mall and the state are trying to piece together exactly what happened.
A property manager for the mall told KATU News in a written statement, "The safety of our shoppers and retailers is a top priority of ours," and referred us to the state's investigation.
The state plans to release its full report Friday afternoon.
It's unclear when the boy will go home.