The couple who saved a 3-year-old boy just as he tumbled out of a third-story window in Burbank described the harrowing split-second actions that cushioned his fall.
Konrad Lightner and his wife, Jennifer, were carrying their box spring mattress out Sunday when they saw the toddler throw his leg over the window sill, his toys tossed to the ground below.
"Once we saw that his leg was going over the window, Jenny called police," Konrad said in an interview with KTLA-TV.
After the boy got out, he clung to a telephone wire outside the window, spurring a split-second decision by the Lightners to position their box spring mattress below.
"He started crying, and I knew he couldn’t make it back to the window, so I just started getting ready for him to let go," Konrad Lightner said.
Forty seconds later the boy let go of the wire and fell about 30 feet into the arms of Lightner, who used the mattress as a sort of landing pad.
The incident at the apartment complex in the 400 block of North Pass Avenue shocked the boy's parents, who were unaware of what had happened until they were notified by a neighbor.
The toddler's mother, Morgane Milligan, told KTLA that he had apparently pushed out the window screen and "decided it was really fun to throw toys out there."
The toddler is autistic and has difficulty communicating, she added.
"I will never be able to repay them for what they did," Milligan said of the Lightner's rescue.
The toddler was taken to a hospital for evaluation, but did not suffer any major injuries -- a lucky break given that the Lightners weren't supposed to be in the alleyway when he fell. The only reason they happened to be there was because they had been delayed by a stuck elevator during the move, the couple said.
"God defintely had us in the right place at the right time,” Jennifer Lightner said.