Teen dies in freak elevator malfunction after he got pinned between two floors 2 months ago

Teen dies in freak elevator malfunction after he got pinned between two floors

JauMarcus McFarland was a promising Atlanta football player

A teenage athlete has died in a freak accident after an elevator malfunctioned and pinned him between two floors of an apartment building in Atlanta.


JauMarcus McFarland, 19, got jammed between the falling car and the third floor of the Highland Avenue building on Tuesday afternoon, according to reports.

Friends of the student at Champion Prep Academy have blamed the condition of the elevator at the building, which is partially used for student housing.

However, the building's manager Nathan Phillips has insisted that the elevator car had been overloaded with 16 people.

He said the group exceeded the maximum weight, causing a "domino effect" that made the elevator fall. They claim the car was 1,000lbs over its 3,000lb limit.

Phillips told WLTX: "Unfortunately, this appears to be what started the domino effect of events leading to the unfortunate death of this young man.

'This is a horrible tragedy, and it deeply saddens us all that this has happened."


According to News Channel 21, a witness reported that the elevator began to feel like it was freefalling before stopping normally on the third floor.

Three students exited the elevator immediately, including McFarland, but before he was completely out, the elevator began to fall again, trapping him between the shaft and the two floors, reports suggest.

One student told police that the top had collapsed and crushed McFarland, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC)

McFarland was said to have been knocked unconscious. Police reports suggested his feet were visible from the second floor as they hung from the ceiling and his upper body was pinned between the elevator and the third floor.

The fire department managed to free McFarland and he was taken to Atlanta Medical Centre where he later suffered a cardiac arrest and died.


Following the incident, a student who lived in the same apartment building as McFarland shared a photo with News Channel 21, showing the elevator was a year overdue for an inspection. The due date was August 2020.

A card in the elevator showed that the last time the elevator had been inspected by the city was in August 2019.

The last inspector also reported the elevator was missing an anti-rotation device on the counterweight and car. It is unknown if this issue was fixed.

Students have been complaining of operational issues for a while, according to the New York Post.


"We knew something like this was going to happen one day. We didn't know it was going to take one of our teammate's lives," a teammate told the Post.

McFarland's coach Michael Carson was devastated to hear about his player's death.

"One moment we are getting prepared to travel to Arkansas — traveling later that same day — and then you get a call that you have a kid trapped. It's devastating. It's a devastating loss to our program," he told the AJC.

McFarland's parents are travelling to Atlanta from his hometown in Missouri and a GoFundMe page has been set up to help cover the cost of getting McFarland back home and to cover the funeral expenses.


Around $6000 had been raised by Friday morning.

You can donate to help pay for McFarland's funeral here

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