Man is crushed to death by falling elevator in New York City

(Image: Shutterstock)

NEW YORK (AP) — A falling elevator trapped and crushed a man to death on New Year’s Eve, and witnesses said he helped a woman to safety and before losing his own life.

The man, identified as Stephen Hewett-Brown, 25, was riding the lower Manhattan elevator around midnight when it malfunctioned. He was able to push a woman out of the lift and onto one of the building’s floors before getting pinned between the elevator car and the shaft as he tried to escape himself, witnesses said.

They said he wished onlookers a happy new year before he died from his injuries. Witness Manuel Coronado said he tried to help Hewett-Brown but couldn’t lift him out.

“He was saying, ‘I can’t breathe.’ I tried to pull him up, but he said, ‘Leave me here, leave me here,'” Coronado told the Daily News of New York.

The New York Police Department said the victim was unconscious, suffering from severe body trauma, when officers arrived shortly after midnight. A police spokesman said he had no information on the exact circumstances of Hewett-Brown’s death, but the department says no criminality is suspected.

The city Buildings Department was investigating the accident. It came after a series of complaints this year about out-of-service elevators at the high-rise, Buildings Department records show. They indicate it was inspected as recently as September.

“The elevators were a problem and needed to be fixed,” former Tenants Association President Dashia Imperiale told WABC-TV, saying the lifts sometimes lurch up and down. But another resident, Zin Halcomb, told the station he felt the building was well-maintained.

Messages left for the property manager weren’t immediately returned Friday.

Meanwhile, a friend of the victim’s, Ejiro Omenih, was absorbing the news of his death and the accounts of his life-saving actions.

“I feel that that alone shows his character,” Omenih told WABC-TV.

He said Hewlett-Brown was an aspiring musician who played piano and performed hip-hop and soul.

Brown’s mother told the Daily News the family declined to comment.

___

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s