NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Three months after a horrific elevator accident took the life of a man in Midtown, his parents and a survivor are speaking out.
“I keep thinking about what happened, keep thinking about almost dying, watching someone die in front of me,” said Tyler Hartsfield.
For Hartsfield, it was only a split second and a few fateful steps off an elevator that saved his life.
“I stepped out right away and as I was stepping out, I felt the elevator drop from underneath my foot. Then at the same time, I heard other people on the elevator start screaming,” he said.
Hartsfield told “Inside Edition” that it was what he saw next in the building at 344 Third Avenue in Kips Bay that still haunts and horrifies him.
“Luckily I got out of the elevator, but I turned around to the screams, and I saw another man trying to get out behind me. He got caught under the top of the elevator and then I saw him get crushed,” he said.
The victim was Sam Waisbren, a 30-year-old in the prime of his life. He was heading out to work at his job at a software company when the elevator suddenly plunged without warning.
“Total disbelief, frankly we’re still in a state of disbelief,” said Charles Waisbren.
It’s been three months since the accident, but it still feels like yesterday for Sam’s devastated parents, who are trying to cope with the awful tragedy that took their son.
Both his parents say they talked to their son the night before he died.
“I told him I loved him and I was proud of him,” Charles Waisbren said.
Before the accident, the building had been fined for an elevator safety violation.
CBS2 reached out to the Department of Buildings about the fatal accident. They would only say their investigation is continuing.