SUV and driver fall down elevator shaft

Claudine Zap
The Sideshow

A parking attendant who fell four floors after driving into an empty car elevator shaft incredibly survived the plunge. Manhattan firefighters rushed to the Upper East Side parking structure, where it took 45 minutes to rescue the driver, Steven Morales, who was trapped inside a Lexus SUV.

The vehicle, which dove about 40 feet, landed upside down and was pulled out from the elevator opening onto the street. Morales was injured but in stable condition.

A second parking attendant in the elevator on the first floor was also injured but OK, according to the New York Post. Angel Rosa told the newspaper, "It felt like it was a bomb. I felt the impact when the car came down."

The car, on the other hand, was a mangled wreck: The roof and hood were crushed, the windows had no glass, and the doors were dented.

The FDNY live-tweeted the rescue, posting at one point, "Now: ‪#FDNY‬ FFs extricate trapped occupant from the car down a parking garage elevator shaft at 355 E 76 St.," and including a photo of a ladder down the shaft over the crunched car.

The Twitterverse quickly picked up on the photos. Nioshii ‏@Nartist noted, "Well this isn't how you want to start your day." Gezim Berisha ‏@Gezim718 added in amazement, "The people in the car survived!" Andre ‏@_Dreman1731 added, "Only in NY."

The cause of the accident is under investigation, The Associated Press reported.