A WOMAN was crushed to death when an old fashioned elevator suddenly dropped and ripped her arm off.
An autopsy found the cause of death was “traumatic asphyxia” and determined the “manner was accidental,” according to police.
A man who witnessed the tragedy was taken to hospital for evaluation but was not physically harmed, a source told The Sun.
“He saw things that no one should ever see,” the person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said.
Authorities earlier said that Dr O’Connor was trying to load a package into the elevator when it suddenly dropped.
Cops were called to the Massachusetts building at around 5pm and found the victim in the elevator on the first floor.
A resident told Boston 25 News that she “heard just an ungodly scream” before running into the corridor and finding a man “in distress screaming and hyperventilating and saying ‘she’s dead, she’s dead’.”
Eric Carmichael told the outlet that his wife “heard a woman in distress and tried to help her out.”
Carmichael also told CBS: “The lady was trying to put her package into the elevator, like that’s how we do it. Take it from the lobby.
“I guess maybe the package and the woman were over the limit of what the elevator could handle so then what my wife said she saw was the lady’s arms like hanging onto her package.”
This maybe explains the logistics of the accident a little better.
I still don’t understand what happened.
Scorzoni said another tenant saw O’Connor moments before. “He was helping her with a box into the building, and he was going up the stairs and he had told her, ‘Hey just be careful,’ because… you have to pull the door across and then step in and then press the button. However if you have something in there, it can trigger a sensor,” said Scorzoni. “He believes that whatever she was trying to get in there hit the sensor and then it started moving.”
Investigators said she died of “traumatic asphyxia”, and that her death was accidental.
“I heard it, he saw everything,” she said. “He was helping her with a box into the building, and he was going up the stairs, and he had told her, ‘Hey, just be careful because it’s an old fashioned [elevator].’
“I don’t know what type of elevator it is, but you have to pull the door across and then step in and then press the button. However, if you have something in there, it can trigger a sensor. And I believe, he told me, he believes that whatever she was trying to get in there, hit the sensor and then it started moving.”
“So he was walking up the staircase and was just talking to her. And he just said, ‘Oh, I don’t think that’s gonna fit in there.’ And then she’s like, ‘Oh, I’ll try it one more time.'”
“And then I heard her screaming, and I heard him screaming.”
“I thought someone had fallen down the staircase. When I looked at the elevator, it was not there. Only the ceiling of the car was on my floor, so all the cables were there.”
“I heard probably one of the worst screams I have ever heard in my life,” Leanne Scorzoni, who lives on the first floor and ran out to help, told WHDH. “I heard the gentleman screaming and hyperventilating saying, ‘She’s dead, she’s dead.'”
“The ceiling of the car was right at my level, which is the first floor, below us is the basement, so the car had gone all the way down or at least halfway down because I couldn’t see her at all. Just the cables.”
Forensic Medicine/Causes of Death
C.M. Milroy, in Encyclopedia of Forensic Sciences (Second Edition), 2013
Traumatic (Crush) Asphyxia
Traumatic asphyxia, also known as crush asphyxia, occurs when there is pressure placed on the chest so that normal respiration cannot occur. Traumatic asphyxia may occur when there is crushing in a crowd, as has happened in a number of sports stadia disasters, such as in Hillsborough, Sheffield, UK in 1989 in which 96 people lost their lives. Ninety four died on the day and only 14 of the victims arrived in hospital.
Individual cases of traumatic asphyxia may be encountered in such scenarios as vehicular collisions, collapse of trenches, and industrial equipment incidents.
At autopsy, there is typically prominent congestion of the upper half of the body with prominent petechiae. Other injuries indicating the site of compression may be present. These deaths often have the most florid congestion and petechiae of all the asphyxial death.
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