A promising young athlete from Missouri was killed in a freak elevator accident on Tuesday, Aug. 31, and the details are harrowing.
JauMarcus McFarland, 19, just relocated from Missouri to play football at Champion Prep Academy in Atlanta. He and his colleagues were living in a building on Highland Avenue NE when the event occurred on Tuesday, reports the NY Post.
Details on the events leading up to the elevator disaster have progressively been revealed this week. Atlanta Police Department released body camera video on Friday showing the events leading up to McFarland’s pinning and the subsequent effort to free him.
The cop carrying the body camera went to the building’s management office after McFarland was transported to the hospital and examined CCTV video of the elevator. The security video that was being presented was captured on his body camera. The elevator was heading down, its doors were open, and there was a crowd in the lift..
While a few individuals manage to flee, McFarland attempted to leave the elevator, but it began to slowly move, and he became trapped between the top of the elevator and the floor above. After he was freed by firefighters, he was taken to hospital but was unable to be saved.
A GoFundMe page for the athlete read, “JauMarcus was a wonderful teammate who touched the lives of those around him.”adding “We are at a loss and his family in Missouri is utterly devastated.”
According to accounts, the teenager, who aspired to be a professional football player, had been living in the building with other sportsmen. According to WSBT, the elevator has been known to have operating difficulties and was slated for a state inspection in August 2020.
Bryson Grove, a teammate, told the station, “We knew something like this was going to happen one day,” then” “We didn’t know it was going to take one of our teammate’s lives.”
However, property manager Nathan Phillips stated that the elevator had 16 passengers on board when the unexpected accident occurred, causing the weight capacity to exceed the 3,000-pound limit by 1,000 pounds.
In a statement to WXIA, Phillips said, “Unfortunately, this appears to be what started the domino effect of events leading to the unfortunate death of this young man.”adding “This is a horrible tragedy, and it deeply saddens us all that this has happened.”
Michael Carson, McFarland’s academy coach, described all of the kids as “our children.”
He told the Journal-Constitution, “You value the time, the seconds, the minutes, the hours you have to spend with these guys.” so “And I hope they realize the importance of every moment they have to breathe life.”
JauMarcus McFarland’s family said that they have engaged attorneys and are planning an independent inquiry into the fatal elevator accident.