New Year’s Eve Tragedy: 25-Year-Old Man Crushed By Elevator at Grand Street Guild Building

On New Year’s Eve, a man from the Bronx was killed after being crushed by an elevator at a Lower East Side apartment building.

It happened just before midnight at 131 Broome St., which is part of the Grand Street Guild complex. 25-year-old Stephen Hewett-Brown had been helping other people get off the stalled elevator when the car slammed down, pinning him between the ceiling of the cab and the third floor. Bystanders tried to pull him out to no avail. Rescue crews responded quickly and rushed Brown to New York Downtown Hospital, but his injuries were too severe. The aspiring musician was pronounced dead a short time after the new year began.

When the elevator ground to a halt, passengers pried the doors open. Brown lifted a 43-year-old woman, Erude Sanchez, out of the car and wished her a happy new year. He became trapped moments later. “He was crying, ‘Help me! Help me,'” Emmanuel Coronado, Sanchez’s son-in-law, told Channel 4.

Problems with the elevators in the building are nothing new, as numerous news reports over the weekend pointed out. Here’s how the New York Times reported the story:

For residents of the 26-story building, the accident was the culmination of years of worries about erratic service and unmet safety concerns on the elevator. Madeline Regalado, 27, a medical assistant, said that just a week ago she was stuck in the elevator for several minutes as it wobbled near the lobby and the doors failed to open. “It could’ve been any of us,” said Ms. Regalado, who has lived there for 10 years. “This is nothing new. I’m scared to use the elevator now.”

Department of Buildings records show three open violations for elevator issues. Many other complaints have been filed in the past several years. Wavecrest Management, which oversees maintenance in the residential complex, released the following statement:

We express our sincere condolences, to the family. We, and our elevator company, are actively working with the New York City Department of Buildings and the NYPD to determine the underlying cause of this tragedy.

Brown had come to the Lower East Side to attend a New Year’s Eve party with his girlfriend.