Local News

Boy recovering after falling down elevator shaft

Posted May 5, 2010

— A 5-year-old Sanford boy is recovering after falling in an elevator shaft over the weekend.

Fisher Hamilton was at his family's beach house on Oak Island Sunday when he somehow dropped 20 feet, and the elevator fell on top of him.

He suffered broken bones, a collapsed lung and skull fractures. He was in intensive care at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill Wednesday evening.

Boy recovering after falling down elevator shaft Boy recovering after falling down elevator shaft

As of Wednesday afternoon, more than 3,400 people had posted words of encouragement on a Facebook page set up for Fisher.

"God is working in this family's life and giving them peace and health, just taking care of this little boy," Susan Westmoreland, a family friend, said Wednesday.

According to a post on the page, Fisher could be moved from intensive care as early as Thursday.

It's unclear exactly what happened that led to the fall.

Oak Island Fire Department Capt. Chris Anselmo said Wednesday that home elevators have sensors that keep the doors from opening between floors.

“You can’t open the door unless the elevator is at that floor,” he said. "Honestly, I couldn't tell you (how he fell). We have not been able to get an answer about that."

Unlike elevators in commercial buildings, the North Carolina Department of Labor does not regulate those in private homes. Local building inspectors check the elevator after installation, and it's up to the homeowner to maintain it.

“This is a beautiful Christian family, and definitely God was watching over that little boy,” Westmoreland said.


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  • zepp May 6, 2010

    It's quite frightening to me to think that there are people who worship a god they consider to be so malicious, so insecure, and so capricious that he would shove a kid down an elevator shaft to remind his subjects that instead of merely gravely injuring him, he could have killed him.

    I suppose this fosters the acceptance of starvation and murder and accidents and disease and war as merely more instances of their god's showing off by performing the "miracle" of permitting the occasional survivor of his unconscionable acts.

    I'm sorry, I find that thinking to be very twisted.

    That said, I certainly wish Fisher well, and my heart goes out to his family during this unbelievably difficult time.

  • lilmadkat May 6, 2010

    82ndAAHeel We do not believe that he survived because we are Christians, we do believe he survived because God heard our prayers!!! This family friend meant well by what she said but please do not take it out of context!!

  • 82ndAAHeel May 6, 2010

    The family friend was quoted as saying this is Christian family and that is why the boy survived? So if the Fisher boy was Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist or Islamic then he would have died? I have no tolerance for many of my intolerant fellow christians

  • keitheric May 6, 2010

    Elevator in a beach house for people who use wheelchairs. Maybe they bought it from someone who used it or they use for a family member.

  • McLovin May 6, 2010

    Isnt the question at hand here why he was playing around an elevator shaft in the first place? I never got to play around an elevator shaft when I was 5, I dont even thing they had been invented yet...but seriously, hope for a fast recovery...it will a hell of a story to his kids someday when they are playing around the same elevator shaft

  • AWakeMom May 6, 2010

    Gusto - let me slap your hand -- bad!! very bad!!

  • catwoman1 May 6, 2010

    Let's all remember Fisher and his family in prayer today and thank God for the miracles that are being performed in many lives...the family, those who are touched by this story. God does allow bad things to happen to good people and yes it's a test of faith. I believe this family will become even stronger in their faith and testimony to those who may have doubts. God bless!

  • Kelondris May 6, 2010

    Amen "Reason"!

  • Scubagirl May 6, 2010

    "Do you ReaLLLY need an elevator in a beachhouse.......just wondering! Desiderata"

    You'd be surprised how many beach houses have an elevator! We have one in ours that my mom had put in in preparation for the days she could no longer take the stairs. Lots of folks need an elevator to get up/down. I don't use it for myself but it sure helps w/ unloading the car-send the stuff up all at once.

  • sssh.. whisper May 6, 2010

    I hope he gets better soon.. I hope he knows how lucky he is.