Investigation continues in death of Ohio State student pinned by dormitory elevator

Sunday, October 22nd 2006, 11:31 am
By: News On 6

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) _ An elevator in an Ohio State University dormitory where a student was pinned and killed has been sealed while state inspectors and police investigate, officials said.

Andrew Polakowski, 18, of Erie, Pa., was the last person in a group of students to enter the elevator on Stradley Hall's third floor Friday night when it unexpectedly began to descend with the doors open, said Rick Amweg, assistant chief of campus police.

Polakowski, a freshman, was pinned when he tried to escape through a gap between the top of the elevator and the third floor, police said. It was unclear if he jumped or tried to climb out.

Elevator inspectors from the state Department of Commerce will return Monday to continue their investigation, spokeswoman Denise Lee said. Authorities would not say whether the elevator malfunctioned.

A few students outside the dormitory on Saturday said they have had minor problems with the elevators in the building. Alex Morando said he was stuck on an elevator two weeks ago for about 45 minutes.

The dormitory has 11 floors and about 400 residents, Amweg said. It has two passenger elevators and a larger lift.

Polakowski had chest and abdominal injuries, and he died of mechanical asphyxia, said Franklin County Coroner Dr. Bradley Lewis. The student was dead at the scene.