Horrific video shows man crushed by elevator in Manhattan high-rise

Disturbing new video shows the moment a man was horrifically crushed to death by an elevator this week, the New York Post reports.

Sam Waisbren, 30, had attempted to exit the elevator in the lobby of his Manhattan high-rise around 8:15 a.m. Thursday when the elevator suddenly lost control and plummeted downward.

Waisbren was pinned between the elevator car and the shaft’s wall.

A building surveillance camera captured the incident unfold. The footage shows the elevator door open and a man wearing a backpack leave the car. Then the elevator begins to give way and Waisbren attempts to grab the lobby floor, but he was soon overcome.

“His initial reaction was to put his arm out . . . so he could get off,” a building worker told the newspaper. “At that point, the elevator took him down. Jumping out [of] the car while it’s still moving – you just don’t want to do it.”

Waisbren was pronounced dead at the scene.

His Father, Charles Waisbren, said the family is devastated by the incident. His son grew up near Milwaukee and had moved to New York City to work in software sales.

“He was a wonderful young man,” Charles Waisbren told the newspaper. “He had millions of friends out in New York. He was loved by everybody.”

Firefighters rescued five people who were still trapped in the elevator.

New York City’s Department of Buildings did not have any records of complaints about the elevator that killed Sam Waisbren from the past 10 years, but the building’s other elevator had been closed months prior because of safety problems.

An expert on elevator safety suggested the death may have involved human error in how the elevator was being managed.

Kevin Doherty told the New York Post that similar situations he has reviewed involved “somebody manipulating the elevator safety circuit in the elevator machine room.”

“Elevator controllers-computers are designed to prevent motion of the elevator when either the inside car door or the outside hoistway door is in the open position,” Doherty said. “In order for this event to occur, you would have to have a number of mechanical and electrical failures occur simultaneously, barring human intervention.”

The odds of those things happening, Doherty said, are “almost incalculable.”

Residents say the elevators at the building regularly had problems.

“They always jump between floors,” one resident said. ”It’s like that Halloween-night thing when you’re in that scary elevator that hops up and down. It’s really bad.”

Dayna Sargen, 39, added: “It’s sadly not shocking and sad that it wasn’t addressed sooner. A life could have been saved. It shouldn’t have to take someone dying to have a management company realize there’s an issue with our elevators.”

Charles Waisbren echoed that sentiment: “The elevator was always in disarray, and they’re paying a gazillion dollars in rent every month. [The] least the building could do is provide safety.”