Boston Police have identified the woman who was killed in an elevator accident in an apartment building as a teacher at Boston University. Officers found 38-year-old Carrie O’Connor in the elevator on the first floor of a building in the city’s Allston neighborhood, CBS Boston reports.
O’Connor was pronounced dead at the scene. Police said she died of traumatic asphyxia.
A second person was taken to the hospital suffering from shock, but was not physically hurt, police said.
Leanne Scorzoni, a tenant in the building, was a witness who ran to help when she heard screams.
“It was horrifying. I would never want ever again, it wasn’t a cry. I can’t even describe what it was,” Scorzoni told CBS Boston.
O’Connor’s neighbors said she was trying to move a package either in or out of the elevator when the accident happened.
Scorzoni said another tenant saw O’Connor moments before. “He was helping her with a box into the building, and he was going up the stairs and he had told her, ‘Hey just be careful,’ because… you have to pull the door across and then step in and then press the button. However if you have something in there, it can trigger a sensor,” said Scorzoni. “He believes that whatever she was trying to get in there hit the sensor and then it started moving.”
O’Connor was a lecturer in French at Boston University. A spokesperson said she began working at BU in 2019 and was well-liked by her colleagues. Her parents told the college that she loved to travel and cook.
Her profile on the university’s website says she earned a BS degree from Virginia Tech, an MA degree from Middlebury College and a PhD in French Studies at Louisiana State University.
State inspectors were at the Commonwealth Ave. building on Tuesday. A property manager told CBS Boston the elevator was inspected this year and did not have any problems.
The building is on Commonwealth Avenue, a major thoroughfare through the city.
The incident remains under investigation.