Georgia elevator collapses, killing student-athlete

(WISH-TV file photo)

ATLANTA (WGCL) — A student-athlete is dead after an incident involving an elevator at an apartment building in Atlanta.

Atlanta police confirmed officers responded to assist fire and rescue personnel after reports that a person was trapped and crushed in the elevator Tuesday afternoon.

Witnesses said three football players boarded an elevator on an upper floor of the building on their way to practice. Soon after boarding, the witnesses said, the elevator felt as though it was beginning to fall before stopping and opening normally on the third floor.

Witnesses said two of the three football players exited the elevator immediately; however, before the third player was able to exit, the elevator began free-falling. They said the young man was crushed and trapped between the top of the elevator and the floor of the shaft below for nearly one hour before being recovered.

Officials from Champion Prep Academy — a program that bridges the gap between high school and college for athletes hoping for scholarships — confirmed the student succumbed to his injuries and said his family is traveling from Missouri to Atlanta.

A photo from a resident at the building appears to show that the elevator was more than a year overdue for an inspection. The resident said she took the photo in July, wanting to keep it in case something ever happened.

The image shows the elevator’s last inspection was in August of 2019, and its next inspection, according to the picture, was supposed to be August of 2020.

Champion Prep Academy football players who asked to remain anonymous recounted the ordeal.

“I ain’t even got the words,” one teammate said in disbelief. “His feet were moving at first. Then it stopped. He went unconscious.”

Another teammate said, “We all came here for school. I came here three weeks ago, and we instantly clicked, so seeing somebody I’m close with like that, it hurts.”