Young & Rubicam Exec Suzanne Hart Killed In Freak Elevator Accident

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A woman was killed Wednesday morning after being crushed by an elevator at a midtown Manhattan office building, prompting an investigation by authorities.

The accident happened around 10 a.m. at the Young & Rubicam building at 285 Madison Ave. at East 40th Street.

1010 WINS’ Gary Baumgarten reports

Officials said a 41-year-old woman, identified by police as Suzanne Hart, was trying to get on the elevator on the first floor when it suddenly jerked upward. There was nothing medics could do for the California native, who was crushed between the elevator and the shaft.

“She was a beautiful person. I don’t have words, don’t have words for this. I loved her,” the victim’s boyfriend, Chris Dicksen, said.

Witnesses said Hart’s leg was caught as the door closed and got stuck in the space between the floor and the elevator. Witnesses also said the car then went up halfway to the 2nd floor before the victim’s body stopped the momentum of the elevator.

suzanne hart1 Young & Rubicam Exec Suzanne Hart Killed In Freak Elevator Accident

Suzanne Hart (credit: Facebook)

“All what we saw, people just running out of the building and everyone was screaming ‘somebody call the cops,'” witness John Hanna told CBS 2’s Dave Carlin.

Hart’s co-workers were left in shock and in tears after walking down flight after fight of the 25-story building. Her friends were also too distraught to comment about the horrific death.

Hart’s boss, CEO Peter Stringham, told reporters: “We are deeply, deeply saddened to confirm one of our employees has died.  Our focus at this moment is the well-being of our employee’s family and our larger Young & Rubicam family.”

Two other people who were already on the elevator at the time of the incident suffered minor injuries and did not require hospitalization.

“We could have been in there. If we were like 10 minutes before, we were on our way to get in there actually, so that’s really scary, that’s frightening,” co-worker Renee Mizrahi said.

A Department of Buildings spokesman was unaware of any recent service problems with the elevator. Some who work in the office building said it occasionally jerks and sometimes the doors slam shut violently, Carlin reported. It is unclear if a sensor failed, allowing the elevator to keep moving, even though Hart was not completely inside it.

A surveillance video specialist was on scene Wednesday night as part of the investigation into the elevator’s mechanical failure.

“I feel horrible about it. She was a really, really nice woman and I’m in shock,” the victim’s neighbor Kristi Molinaro told CBS 2’s Sean Hennessey.

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stinger demanded better elevator inspections citywide following the tragedy.

“While the Department of Buildings does inspections, so do private companies. And we need to know what the connection is between a Department of Buildings inspection and a private elevator inspection service. What exactly does that all mean?” he said.

According to her profile on the networking site LinkedIn, Hart was the Director of New Business, Content and Experience at Y&R, where she had worked since 2007.

The company is one of several tenants in the building and announced days ago that it planned to vacate the building for a new headquarters.

Please leave a comment below…

  • Perry Bachmann Gingrich

    The death of this woman is only an incidental detail. The REAL tragedy of this incident is that there’s no way to blame Barack Obama for it.

  • Meme Meyagi

    what is done about 7 million mooslime terrorists living in usa?

  • TC



  • TS

    I am so sorry to hear about the tragic loss of Ms. Hart. My thoughts go out to her friends and family.

  • julie

    Condolences to the family and friends. What a horrible accident to have to endure.

  • BTillson

    Yeah, Tell the Department of Building to up the inspections on elevators around the city. Yup. that’ll work.

  • pqr

    what obama have to do with it u racial dummy

  • pqr

    what obama have to do with it u racial dummy

  • Ellen

    What a horrible way to die. My deepest condolences goes out to the family of this dear woman who suffered such a terrible and unfortunate accident. May God grant her family peace in knowing that she is now in Heaven with her Lord and Savior.

    • liz

      I am so sorry for this poor worman and her family. My heart goes out to them. I’ll keep them in my prayers.
      I must also comment how unfortunate that some people ( and I use that word people lightly) would use a comment board like this to say such ridiculous things upon this very horrible incident to this innocent victim, shame on the idiots that do stuff like that.

      • Ellen

        liz, your are so right in your comment about some posts on this board that to say the least is totally uncalled for. What ever happen to compassion in this country? Right now this woman is in a far better place then what we are in.

      • liz

        I am not referring to Ellen I am referring to the comments below.

  • Jduzit Tha Artist

    My condolences and prayers go out to this poor lady’s family and co-workers.

  • Jason

    My thoughts and prayers go out to your family….

  • Rudy G. still stinks

    Very sad she was an employee of Y&R and just 41 years old.

    • Vickie west

      What is wrong with you? To bad your a jackass

      • Chuck

        I wish people would go back to high school english and learn the difference between “your” and “you’re”. But maybe they learned it that way in a government high school.

        Sad Sad both the death of a young woman and butchering the American language

  • Gil

    My prayers go out to the woman in this terrible tragedy and her family. What a time for a freak accident to happen.

    • tcp

      Is there ever a “right time” for a freak accident?

  • CT Native

    Frank, I pray for your full recovery.

  • Ginny

    Sounds like somebody bypassed the door interlocks…..

    • meho

      hmm, not if it “jerked” upward. The brake on the drive may have slipped or the load balance wasn’t proper. Maybe the car just had a modernization. If it had several violations, I wonder why the car was even in service. The elevator industry in pretty corrupt in NYC anyway. Look at local 1, enough said.

  • emmie

    Hopefully John is being sarcastic. But Frank is really creepy

  • Sad

    Really Frank? You’re that petty? Must suck to be you. You must be a very lonely man.

  • Sam

    You and Frank should get together for group therapy sessions. You are 2 peas in a pod. Both stupid. A woman was killed in a horrific way and all you have to say is you hope there is no inconvenience. Sometimes Karma comes back to bit you in the a$$.

  • Sam

    You are smiling over someone being crushed to death. I can now see why you were rejected. I have a feeling that you have had quite a bit of rejection in your life. Seek professional help.

  • Captain Obvious


    Are you still unemployed?

  • A "Going Postal" Worker

    Wow, Frank – and you’re stupid enough to put your full name to that comment? Nuff said.

  • Yikes

    Umm…what? I do hope you’re joking about this, and even if you’re just joking you clearly have a mental problem.

  • Baggs


  • Mariano Karesty

    1 killed, 2 hurt in NYC elevator accident.
    NEW YORK – The Fire Department says a person has been killed in an elevator accident in New York City.
    The accident occurred around 10 a.m. Wednesday in midtown Manhattan, at an office building on Madison Avenue between 40th and 41st streets.
    The FDNY says the elevator fell at least two floors. Fire officials say two other people also suffered minor injuries.

  • dp

    These comment sections really attract the whackos and losers… amazes me how many really rude – crude and stupid people are commenting on these stories…

    • A "Going Postal" Worker

      dp – I substantially agree with you . . . actually it’s downright frightening.
      Someone should tell them that this is not the Howard Stern show (and that they should “do the world a favor” and go back to sleep).

  • fdgss

    the elevator didn’t fall – get your facts straight CBS.

  • Omar

    Reading your stupid comments causes mental disorders.

  • Tina

    You really are a jerk. It could have been a malfunction. I knew someone that died in an elevatro accident when the cables snapped. Hs neck broke. And you go and try to make a joke about it. Sometimes I wonder why some people are on this earth.

    • meho

      there are four to six cables hold that car to the crosshead. i cant see more than two breaking at same time. Besides the fact, the cars have breaks which prevent it from falling (down that is) more than two floors before it stops.
      the story has conflicts. did the car fall up or down? it is more reasonable to think the car fell up if she tried to board on the terminal landing (top or bottom floor) due to the counterweight being 40% heavier than the car itslef.
      Just and educated opinion.

      • john

        The safety edge should have reopened the doors. The interlocks couldn’t have engaged either without the doors fully closed. Betcha a safety shorted on the controller.

    • So Right

      you are so right Tina. What an a$$hole p8nt is .

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