NEW YORK CITY — In a tragic story out of New York City, a man was crushed to death by a broken elevator while he was helping a women get out of it.
It happened just minutes before the clock rang in the new year.
Manuel Coronado said he will forever be haunted by Stephen Hewett-Brown’s final words.
“I don’t breathe no more. I can’t breathe no more. I need to to take me out of here.”
Coronado said he tried desperately to save the 25-year-old, who was slowly being crushed to death by an elevator on New Year’s Eve.
“I tried to put the elevator a little bit up, to take it off his body, but I can’t. The elevator has so much weight.”
Witnesses said just before midnight Hewett-Brown was in an elevator on 131 Broom Street with nine other passengers, including Coronado’s mother-in-law and her 10-year-old nephew.
The elevator stalled half-way between the second and third floor and the door opened.
Sanchez said Hewett-Brown wished her a happy new year, as he pushed her up and out of the elevator car onto the third floor. Hewett-brown was leaning half-way of the elevator, when it suddenly gave way crushing his hip, his body carrying the weight of the car and eight passengers still on board.
Witnesses said they called 911 right away, but they said it still took nearly 30 minutes for any emergency response teams to show up, despite the fact that seventh precinct station house and fire house are directly across the street. However, the FDNY and NYPD said the 911 call was received at 11:54, with crews arriving in five minutes, at 11:59.
Coronado said the response took much longer than that.
“I think if they came more on time, we could take him out alive, this guy,” he said. “They came late.”
Those who witnessed this tragedy said 2016 quickly became a year they wanted to forget.
Investigators are still looking into the incident.
Some residents said the building has a history of problems with elevators.