Utica, N.Y. - A 9-year-old girl named Alyssa is now back at home with her family at the Michael Walsh Apartments in Utica.
She says it was terrifying to not only have fallen, but to then be laying down in the dark by herself 30 feet below the hanging elevator above her. When asked if she'll ever use that elevator again, even when it finally is back up and running, she said, "No. Heck no. Heck no."
It was Friday, February 15th around 3:00 in the afternoon when Alyssa and a fellow 9-year-old girl, who also lives in the building, say they got on this elevator inside the Michael Walsh Apartments on Utica's west side.
Alyssa says the elevator was not stopping on their floors that they had pushed, the 4th and 6th floors, and instead it was just going up and down and up and down, so they pressed the stop button and the elevator did then stop right near the 3rd floor, "Nyla pressed the stop button on third floor, she jumped out and I didn’t see the black hole in the middle and then I fell backwards and hit my head."
Alyssa then fell 30 feet down that black hole, the elevator shaft, all the way down to the floor of the basement. Her left leg shattered right above the knee, she also broke her pelvis and suffered some head injuries.
Alyssa was at Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse for a month until being released this past Tuesday. She had a plate put in her leg and still needs a second surgery, but that surgery may be about two years away.
Alyssa cannot go back to school, and probably won't be able to for a while, because of her broken leg and fractured pelvis, which must heal on its own. She is now going through physical therapy.
Alyssa says even worse than the pain from her injuries, are her nightmares she has about what happened. She says the nightmares are always the same, "Darkness, getting into the elevator, falling down."
Alyssa's family has hired a personal injury attorney.
The elevator meanwhile is still not working. The Utica Fire Department, which is investigating the incident, says it is waiting for the results of an independent inspection which was done last weekend.
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