Local News

Boy recovering after falling down elevator shaft

Posted May 5, 2010 6:22 p.m. EDT
Updated May 5, 2010 7:12 p.m. EDT

— 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.

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.