Elevator that killed Boston University lecturer feels like an antique: resident

The elevator at a Boston apartment building where a French lecturer was crushed to death is a disconcerting “antique” that can leave some uneasy, one resident said.

Carrie O’Connor, a 38-year-old professor at Boston University, died Monday when she was “trapped in the doorway of the first floor and the elevator” inside her apartment building in the city’s Allston section, according to a police report obtained by the Boston Globe.

O’Connor, who joined BU’s Romance Studies Department last fall, had been carrying something heavy when she became trapped inside the elevator, neighbors told the newspaper.

It is unclear what she was carrying at the time but investigators said they have removed her mattress and frame from the building. An autopsy found her accidental death was due to traumatic asphyxia.

A fellow tenant at the residence built in 1920 who heard another man telling O’Connor to be careful prior to her death said she hasn’t had any issues with the accordion grate-elevator during her 18 months there, the Globe reports.

“However, when the cage stops at different floors, it does not always line up seamlessly [and] you have to slightly step up to get out,” tenant Leanne Scorzoni said. “This can definitely feel springy and unnerving.”

The elevator — the age of which was reportedly unclear Wednesday — doesn’t feel “dangerous or broken,” Scorzoni said.

“But I will say it feels as if you’re riding in an antique,” she continued. “It’s not always a good feeling.”

State records show the elevator was last inspected on March 26, when a 60-day notice was issued to fix a stop switch. A notice indicated that failure to show proof of repairs during that span could lead to the “unit being shut down,” the newspaper reports.

Those repairs had been made within a month, records show, and the elevator’s annual inspection is now valid through March 31.

The lift features a heavy door and an accordion grate that users pull open before stepping inside, Scorzoni said.

“The ‘cage’ all around the elevator car is see-through, which is how the gentleman walking up the stairs could see down the elevator shaft and see the woman in peril,” she said.

O’Connor’s death remains under investigation by Massachusetts’s Division of Professional Licensure and Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins, the Globe reports.

At least one other person, a former resident at the building, has also expressed concerns about the elevator.

“Recognize that building?” Karen Locascio wrote on Facebook. “I do. I lived there for almost a decade. If you were friends with me in the 00s, you may have visited me there. I hated that f—king elevator. This is just terrible.”

O’Connor’s family could not be reached for comment Wednesday, the Globe reports.

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