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Elevator that killed woman had work done on it hours before

Emergency workers look into an elevator shaft after

Emergency workers look into an elevator shaft after freak elevator accident. (Charles Eckert) Credit: Emergency workers look into an elevator shaft after freak elevator accident. (Charles Eckert)

The elevator that crushed to death an ad exec on Wednesday had work performed on it only hours before the horrific accident, authorities said Thursday.

A maintenance crew first arrived Tuesday to work on the elevator but was called back the next day. The New York Post reported that the crew was performing electrical maintenance, but it's unknown whether the work was related to the malfunction.

The elevator that killed 41-year-old Suzanne Hart was equipped with a safety mechanism that should have prevented the accident, a law enforcement source said. But, for some reason, it failed.

"This is just a freak [accident]," the source said.

Hart, director of new business and experience at Young & Rubicam, was stepping onto the elevator at 285 Madison Ave. at about 10 a.m. Wednesday when the lift ascended with its doors open, trapping her between the car and the lobby walls. She died instantly while two people inside the elevator watched in horror.

Hart's family continued to grieve at the Brooklyn home she shared with her boyfriend of five years, Chris Dicksen. They emerged late Thursday morning, with worn eyes and shaken expressions, and got into a cab.

"I can't process any of this," Dicksen said. "Everybody's crushed. She was the bright spot of my life."

Hart, a California native who moved to New York after graduating from Knox College in Illinois, joined Young & Rubicam in 2007.

The tragic accident shows "how precious life is," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday. "When you kiss your loved ones good-bye in the morning, sometimes we take for granted just how precious the gift is and how random life can be."


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