A Louisiana woman was killed on the job at Louis Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans on Tuesday after a freak accident happened.
Jermani Thompson, 26, was unloading passenger baggage for Frontier Airlines on Tuesday night when her hair got caught in the airline’s mechanical belt loader, according to NOLA.com. The CEO of GAT Airline Ground Support, Mike Hough, told the publication that she worked for the company when the incident occurred.
Jermani was transported to Ochsner Kenner Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead after succumbing to massive injuries.
According to her family, the beloved woman was a former high school and college basketball star and the youngest child of Angela Dorsey. She played basketball at East St. John High School in LaPlace, Louisiana, Tougaloo College in Mississippi, and Hesston College in Kansas.
Her mom described her baby girl as someone everyone “loved.”
“She loved basketball,” Angela said. “She was my baby girl. Everybody loved her.”
Jermani’s love of basketball started by watching her older brother play. She worked and “played hard” and eventually earned a spot as East St. John’s girl’s basketball team captain. She graduated in 2014.
“She was a great shooter, could shoot threes and played hard, played tough,” her former coach said. “She had a great attitude.”
Another former coach Jessica Barber shared a touching post on Facebook after learning of Jermani’s passing.
“Coaching AAU and High School is a lot different than coaching college—you literally watch kids grow up. And you get to choose if you’re going to maintain relationships with each other through adulthood or just drift away… Today, more than ever, I’m thankful Jermani Thompson, and I chose to maintain after all these years.
This morning I was interviewed about a former player for a potential job. At lunch, I learned about the passing of one of my former players—the highest of highs and lowest of lows as a coach. In this life, there are no guarantees. You can choose the right path, and still, death can call your number sooner than expected.
My heart is shattered—for her family, for her friends, for her co-workers and for this world. Jerm was a good one. I can guarantee she took her last breath smiling and helping someone else. What a classy kid— Jerm, I’ll remember you this way…
I love you, always”
Her former teammate Kalani Brown competed against Jermani during the school year and played with her on the same team during the summer league. She also shared her feelings about the young woman’s death.
“Bonds like these last forever no matter how long y’all played with each other. Teammates are FOREVER & being on this team w/ these girls; I got love for each and every one. From teammates during the summer to opponents in High School, the bond stays the same no matter how much time goes by or where life takes us. Nobody else go nowhere. Get your rest, Sis.” Kalani wrote.
She graduated from Tougaloo College with a degree in sociology and even had hopes of becoming a WNBA star.
Her former teammates, co-workers and friends are devastated by the tragic loss.
“I’m just lost for words. I can’t even think,” her grieving mother expressed.
Although her family understands that her premature death was caused bya freak accident, they still have many questions.
“She went to work one morning and never made it home,” a cousin said, expressing her gvried over the accident. “This is just so unreal right now.”
Hough expressed, “We are heartbroken and are supporting her family and her friends as best as we are able.”
Even New Orleans Airport Director of Aviation Kevin Dolliole expressed his condolences to the 26-year-old woman’s family, friends and fellow employees.
“Jermani was part of our airport family, and we will continue to support one another in any way we can during this trying time,” he told NOLA.com.