"Happy New Year" were a man's last words before he was crushed by a falling elevator in New York City on New Year's eve. The victim, 25-year-old Stephen Hewett-Brown, was crushed by an elevator at a Manhattan building just minutes before midnight. He would later die at a hospital.
The New York Daily News reports police saying Brown became trapped in the stuck elevator at around 11:30 p.m. as he was coming to a New Year's Eve party. Manuel Coronado told the New York Daily News he tried to help Brown who was reportedly stuck "between the elevator and the building door." Coronado said "He [Brown] was saying 'I can’t breathe' and added that when Coronado tried to pull him up he said to leave him.
Coronado told the New York Daily News, translating for 43-year-old Erude Sanchez who lives in the building and was saved by Brown. Sanchez said in Spanish that, "She started going in, but the elevator started going down and he pushed her out," according to Coronado. "He said 'Happy New Year' and pushed her out."
Police were reportedly called to rescue Brown but Coronado said help didn't arrive for at least 20 to 30 minutes despite the fact that there's a precinct "a block away." When help finally arrived an FDNY spokesman said Brown was taken to New York Hospital with "traumatic arrest."
Several residents spoke to outlets saying this wasn't the first time the elevator malfunctioned with Sanchez reportedly telling the New York Post she was stuck in it just two months ago.
Sanchez also told the New York Post, "He did a very valiant act to save me. We want to thank him and his family and pray that God gives them peace and comfort. It's something I’ll never forget."