Remembering Sam Waisbren Death: On the morning of August 23, 2019, a nightmare unfolded for a Kips Bay resident, turning into a horrifying reality as he was crushed to death by an elevator in his upscale high-rise building while shocked neighbors looked on, according to authorities.
Sam Waisbren, a 30-year-old, fought desperately to escape the packed elevator as it abruptly plummeted from the lobby into the dark abyss of the shaft below, tragically becoming trapped between the elevator car and the shaft wall, as confirmed by officials.
This harrowing incident transpired at the 23-story Manhattan Promenade Tower on Third Avenue near East 25th Street shortly after 8:15 a.m.
In the footage, a woman stands waiting as the elevator door opens into the lobby, and a man wearing a backpack emerges. Suddenly, the lift gives way, and Waisbren and five others hurt downward, as depicted in the video clip.
Waisbren acted on pure instinct, thrusting his right hand toward the elevator door frame in a desperate attempt to secure a hold, simultaneously striving to anchor his right leg onto a tiny portion of the lobby floor.
However, he was swiftly overwhelmed by the elevator’s relentless force.
Remembering Sam Waisbren Death
Autopsy Report & Obituary
Tragically, first responders pronounced Sam Waisbren dead at the scene.
His father, Charles Waisbren, described him as a wonderful young man who had moved from their family home outside Milwaukee to establish a life in the Big Apple, working in software sales.
He was deeply loved by many in New York, and his family was devastated by the loss.
Firefighters raced to the scene to rescue the five individuals who remained trapped and traumatized inside the confined metal cage.
As the chaos subsided and rescue efforts continued, questions arose.
The city’s Department of Buildings, on the scene for investigation, disclosed that the elevator responsible for the tragedy had not been the subject of any formal complaints over the past decade.
However, the building’s other elevator had been shut down months earlier due to safety concerns.
A public report cited that the “door zone restrictor had been tampered with” during an inspection on May 29.
This device is crucial for elevator passenger safety.
The DOB issued a cease-use order after the inspection. Still, the building’s management company, ATA Enterprises, resolved the issue to the satisfaction of city inspectors, and the order was lifted by May 31, 2019.
Residents noted that the elevator taken out of service had a history of getting stuck.
Despite multiple requests for comment, ATA Enterprises did not respond.
Remembering Sam Waisbren Death | Sam Waisbren Parents
In late August 2019, the family took legal action by filing documents in Manhattan Supreme Court.
They requested the preservation of all evidence related to the incident as they prepared to initiate a wrongful death lawsuit against both the building owners and the elevator company.
To honor their beloved son, Laura and Charles Waisbren established the “Sam Waisbren Memorial Basketball Program.”
This initiative offers free opportunities for children to develop their reading skills and engage in basketball activities.
It serves as a meaningful tribute to Sam Waisbren and operates in their hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Sam Played Basketball
Charles Waisbren initiated the Northcott Community Center basketball program when Sam was nine years old.
Sam enthusiastically joined the team and continued to play for the following seven years, participating in weekly tournaments across Wisconsin.
The team achieved a notable victory by clinching a state Amateur Athletic Union championship in 2003.
Remarkably, the bonds formed during those years persisted throughout the following two decades. Several of the boys who were part of the team maintained contact with Sam and Charles over the years.
They came together to pay their respects at Sam’s funeral, highlighting the enduring connections forged through their shared passion for basketball and their deep respect for the Waisbren family.