The National Transportation Safety Board has released its preliminary report into the deadly New Year’s Eve incident at Montgomery Regional Airport in which a member of ground crew personnel was “ingested into the engine” of a parked airplane.
Friends are doing what they can to raise funds for the children of an airline worker who died last month after she was sucked into a passenger plane’s engine.
On Dec. 31, mom Courtney Edwards was killed by the engine while working at Alabama’s Montgomery Regional Airport, a previous report by the National Transportation Safety Board stated.
“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,” a description on a GoFundMe campaign initially started to raise $25,000 for Edwards’ three children read. As of Tuesday, the fundraiser was close to reaching $100,000 on Tuesday afternoon.
“Please know that this tragedy has and will affect her mother, family, friends, and kids for years to come,” it continued.
Members of the Communication Workers of America union created the GoFundMe page on behalf of the family.
A newly published preliminary report filed by the NTSB on Monday revealed that the ground crew at Montgomery Regional held two safety briefings about 10 minutes before the plane arrived at the gate.
Piedmont Airlines is a subsidiary of American Airlines, which did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment on Tuesday.
In the new report, the NTSB said that after the flight landed at the airport, the pilot received an alert that the front cargo door was being opened as he began to shut down the right engine.
The flight’s first officer told a ramp agent that the engines were still running, according to the report. Moments later, the tragedy occurred.
Surveillance footage showed Edwards walking toward the plane’s rear while holding an orange safety cone, the report said. At one point, she disappeared from view. She was pulled into the engine and killed shortly after.
Richard Honeycutt, vice president of Communication Workers of America District 3, issued a statement about Edwards earlier this month.
“The news of this terrible tragedy was heartbreaking,” Honeycutt said on the organization’s website. “Courtney was a valued member of her team and our union. She was away from her family working on New Year’s Eve making sure passengers got to where they needed to be for the holidays. She represents the very best of our CWA airport members, who constantly make sacrifices to serve the flying public.”
He added: “Her memory will live on in the hearts and minds of her fellow CWA members and those closest to her. Our staff and local leaders are on the ground coordinating with the relevant agencies as the investigation continues. We are doing as much as we can to provide support for her family and loved ones during this most tragic time.”