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NYC elevator shaft death: Man crushed to death, possibly elevator surfing

Man crushed to death elevator surfing in Bronx building where he lived.
Man crushed to death elevator surfing in Bronx building where he lived.
Wikimedia Commons

A 20-year-old man was pulled from a NYC elevator shaft where he was pronounced dead on the scene. Tito Morales became wedged between the elevator and the shaft wall and he was crushed to death, according to the New York Post on July 28.

It appears that Morales had been elevator surfing in the Bronx building when he somehow became wedged in the shaft between the 18th and 19th floors on Monday morning. Emergency workers pulled the unconscious Morales out of the elevator shaft, but he couldn’t be saved.

Witnesses said that Morales, an aspiring tattoo artist, was crushed to death between two elevators after he became wedged in the elevator shaft. The Post said this occurred at the Adam Houses on Tinton Ave. Police do not suspect any criminal activity in this death.

Elevator surfing entails riding on top of the elevator instead of inside as most people do. This trend of surfing elevators by riding on the roof is extremely dangerous, as seen in Morales’ case, where his ride turned fatal. Police said Morales attempting to “surf” the elevator “when something went very wrong,” according to NBC News New York.

Morales was in one of the NYCHA development buildings in the Longwood neighborhood on Tinton Avenue. The cause of death has not been released, but an autopsy is being conducted today. The medical examiner will determine the cause of death for this young man.

Early reports this morning indicated that Morales fell to his death while trying to get out of and elevator that got stuck, as reported on PIX 11. Further investigation into Morales’ death revealed details that he was elevator surfing at the time he became wedged between the elevator and the wall of the building.

As with any elevator accident, the investigation looks back to see when the last time the elevators at the location were inspected. According to the Buildings Department Website the last elevator inspection on the building was in January 2013.

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