Stephen Hewett-Brown, 25, from the Bronx, shoved Erude Sanchez to safety and reportedly wished her a ‘Happy New Year’ after he saw the elevator had stalled and was about the fall down the shaft of the 26-storey building on the Lower East Side.
Moments later Mr Hewett-Brown, who was thought to be attending a party in the building, was killed as he got stuck between the stalled lift and a door around 11.30pm.
It is thought the lift started moving as he tried to make his own escape.Manuel Coronado, who was visiting his grandmother who lives in the building, told the New York Daily News the victim was shouting ‘I can’t breathe’ as the elevator crushed him.He said: ‘I tried to help the guy but he was between the elevator and the building door. ‘He was saying ‘I can’t breathe’. I tried to pull him up but he said ‘leave me here’.’ He added that the man pushed Ms Sanchez, 43, to safety after she tried to enter the lift.’She started going in, but the elevator started going down and he pushed her out,’ Coronado said, translating for the Spanish-speaking woman. ‘He said “Happy New Year” and pushed her out.’ His mother told the New York Daily News: ”I’m grieving my son.’A spokesman for the New York City Fire Department confirmed a man had been taken to hospital around midnight, where he died. He is not believed to have lived at 131 Broome St. in Manhattan.