Dominican man dies in Elevator Accident in Washington Heights
City inspectors are investigating after a man was killed Saturday when an elevator pinned him between two floors of a Washington Heights building. Our Gene Apodaca has the story.
Employees were left in tears outside the Washington heights shop where 43-year-old Jose Fernandez lost his life. Juan Antonio Nunez, a coworker at that Dominican clothing store was inside when the unspeakable accident happened.
“I asked him for a box of sweaters to sell,” said Nunez. “He was coming with the box in the elevator when his head got stuck.”
Nunez says he immediately called his boss who in turn called 911.
When EMS arrived the victim, still pinned in what’s described as a small supply elevator, could not be revived.
“He has been by my side all my life, he says, he was like my brother,” said Nunez. “I was crying. He used to call me every morning to wake me up go work.”
The victim, who Nunez says was originally from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, was well known in the neighborhood, often going by the nicknames Slim or Bori.
The owner understandably is heartbroken.
“This is shocking for all of us,” Cabral said. “It was an unexpected accident we weren’t ready for this. We don’t know how this accident happened.”
“He’s someone that I saw every day,” said James Cabral, Jose Cabral’s son. “He always said hi to me. He was a very hard working man. It’s basically seeing a family member pass away.”
Late Saturday night, the Department of Buildings sent an inspector to the business to determine how this horrific accident happened. What’s unclear is whether there was a malfunction or some other kind of issue that caused the elevator to move.
Coworkers we spoke to say they’ve never had a problem. They were focused mainly on the shock of losing such a good friend.
“So sad because I don’t see him anymore,” said Juana Jorje, a former coworker of Fernandez.
Friends say the victim had no children, but did have a sister in the area. His mother lives in Philadelphia.
July 25, 2016
Category: DR News |