A Utah man who was found dead in the engine of a Delta jet reached the aircraft after frantic efforts inside Salt Lake City International Airport to get onto the runway.
Kyler Efinger, 30, of Park City, died the evening of Jan. 1 after he climbed into the turbine of a Delta jet, according to KSTU-TV in Salt Lake City.
The Airbus A220-100 was being de-iced at the time. The blades of the turbine engine were rotating when Efinger was found.
Efinger was pulled from the engine cowling, which sucks air into the engine, and was pronounced dead at the scene after efforts to revive him failed.
Video obtained by KSTU shows that he tried to get onto the runways through a door that was locked and then ran off to try a different door. At one point, he pounded on a window with his shoes.
Eventually, Efinger was seen on camera running down a stairwell after kicking open a door.
The final frames of the video are from a thermal imaging camera. The video showed Efinger running toward the jet.
Efinger’s father, Judd Efinger, said he had a mental health crisis at the airport because of delays that caused him to miss a plane that was to take him to see his dying grandfather, according to KPCW-TV in Park City, Utah.
“After 10 years you sort of get good at seeing the behavior. You know, he just gets really short and high energy. So, then it turns to triggers and things that trigger him — his journey through the airport, he had a bunch of triggering events,” Efinger said.
“He was sort of profiled in TSA,” the man’s father said, referring to the Transportation Security Administration security checkpoint. “And then he missed his flight because of the extended TSA. And once he missed his flight, he called me and I could just tell that this was not going to end well.”
Efinger said that in addition to prescription medication for bipolar disorder, his son self-medicated with marijuana.
“I would just encourage other families that are going through this, it’s just not OK. It’s masking some of the issues, and really should have been going to professional doctors and therapists. I would just encourage any parents going through this to really push for that. And it’s tough when they’re adults because they can make their own choices,” he said.
WATCH: The family of the man killed when he crawled into a jet engine Monday at the @slcairport says he was bipolar, and having a manic episode.
— Lindsay Aerts (@LindsayOnAir) January 4, 2024
Efinger said his son faced bullying in college because of his disorder.
“A lot of kids just made fun of him for being hyper, but he was always well-intentioned and just a real sweet kid. So it really was the sort of traumatic events in college. But it was just, you know, heavily influenced by bullying, and he just could never quite understand why folks would treat him like that,” he said.
He said he believes his son died from head trauma.
“We hope he is in a happier place. And you know, we are going to really miss him. We just really want to honor Kyler and mental health issues and try to help the next family. And I think that’s what we’ll be focused on in the coming years here,” Efinger said.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.