Vandy LB Falls Down Elevator Shaft

Tuesday, August 29th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Vanderbilt University football player Luke Hammond was hospitalized in critical condition Tuesday after falling 100 feet down a dormitory elevator shaft.

Hammond, 19, a freshman linebacker from Montgomery, Ala., fell Monday night as he tried to climb out of a crowded elevator that stopped between the ninth and 10th floors, said Steve Caldwell, dean of residential and judicial affairs.

Hammond was conscious and speaking when he was transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, officials said.

Thirteen people, three above the recommended maximum capacity, were aboard the elevator when it stopped, Caldwell said.

Several people reportedly forced the door open and Hammond fell to the basement as he attempted to lower himself to the floor below, Caldwell said.

The remaining students on the elevator, who called university police on the elevator's emergency telephone, were safely removed. The elevator was taken out of service for inspection.

The 6-foot-3, 215-pound Hammond signed with Vanderbilt in February. During his senior season at Wetumpka (Ala.) High School, Hammond made more than 100 tackles and averaged 6.7 yards per carry as the team's fullback.

He was also an outstanding performer on his high school's baseball team and planned to pitch for Vanderbilt.

Kyle Gullahorn, another Vanderbilt freshman football player, died in March 1997 when he fell seven stories from a dormitory window following an argument.