A New York man fell to his death in a faulty elevator after pushing out a woman to safety and wishing wishing her ‘Happy New Year’, news agencies reported.
25-year-old Stephen Hewett-Brown, an aspiring musician, was riding an elevator in lower Manhattan, New York around midnight when it malfunctioned.
He managed to save Erudi Sanchez, 43, who lives in the building, by pushing her out of the lift onto one of the building’s floors before getting pinned between the elevator car and the shaft as he tried to escape himself, witnesses told the Daily News of New York.
“When I got into the elevator, I felt it dropping and I thought my feet would get caught in the gap but the man pushed me out and said, ‘Happy New Year,’” Sanchez told the Daily News on Friday.
Witness Manuel Coronado told that 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.
Sources in the New York Police Department told the Associated Press that the victim was unconscious, suffering from severe body trauma, when officers arrived shortly after midnight.
“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.
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.