Man Crushed in BART Elevator Identified

Authorities are hoping that the release of his name will help them locate next of kin

Wednesday, Apr 10, 2013  |  Updated 6:23 PM PDT
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BART Questions How Man Got in Elevator Shaft Before Being Crushed to Death

Bob Redell

BART's Montgomery station where a man was crushed to death in an elevator shaft.

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Man Crushed to Death in BART Elevator

A man who may have been sleeping atop an elevator in a rapid transit station in San Francisco was crushed to death late Sunday, police said. Bob Redell reports.

BART Questions How Man Got in Elevator Shaft Before Being Crushed to Death

BART officials are investigating how a man got into an elevator shaft at the Montgomery Street station on Sunday night and was crushed to death in that shaft. Cheryl Hurd reports.
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A month after a transient was crushed to death in a grisly incident on top of a San Francisco train station elevator, the medical examiner's office has released the man's name and are asking for the public's help in finding his family.

The man has been identified as 42-year-old David Thomas, according to Dr. Amy Hart, San Francisco's chief medical examiner. Thomas was found dead on the night of March 10 in an elevator shaft at the Montgomery BART and Municipal Railway station.

A man riding the elevator from the Municipal Railway level up to the concourse level at about 9:35 p.m. that night heard a crunching sound and a man yelping before the elevator stopped.

Fire crews responded, found Thomas in the elevator shaft and pronounced him dead at the scene.

Hart said that medical examiner's investigators have not determined where the man lived or found his next-of-kin to notify them of his death. "We would certainly appreciate the public's efforts, if they're able to provide any information," she said.

Anyone with information is asked to call chief investigator Thomas McDonald at (415) 553-1695. BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost said today that the agency is not able to release the results of their investigation into the death until after receiving a final report from the medical examiner.

However, Trost had said the day after the incident that some personal items, including bedding, were found on top of the elevator car. BART officials have confirmed that the ventilation entry to the elevator shaft was secure and that to get through the emergency hatch, someone would need a boost.

Trost had said investigators were looking at surveillance footage to try to determine how Thomas got into the shaft space.

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