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Monday, September 6, 2021

HBCU-Bound Student Athlete Dies in Tragic Elevator Accident

Jaumarcus McFarland

Correction: This article previously misreported that the incident occurred on an HBCU campus. That information has now been clarified in the revised article below.

Nationwide — Jaumarcus McFarland, a student-athlete who was enrolled at Champion Prep Academy in Atlanta, sadly died when an elevator collapsed, trapping him in between floors for more than an hour. The incident happened at the 444 Suites Student Housing in Northeast Atlanta, a building that is reportedly used as temporary housing for students at Clark Atlanta University, an HBCU.

People who witnessed the accident called 911 while some are trying to pull him to safety as the elevator continued to collapse. Atlanta Fire Department responded to the scene within minutes but they were only able to get him out after over an hour.

Authorities said McFarland barely had a pulse and his heart hadn’t stopped yet after the hour-long rescue. He was then rushed to Atlanta Medical Center where he went into cardiac arrest and died shortly after.

Since then, it has been discovered that the elevator hadn’t been inspected since August 2020. Numerous complaints about the elevator were allegedly addressed to the management before the accident but they didn’t do anything about it.

“We knew something like this was going to happen one day, we didn’t know it was going to take one of our teammates lives but it happened to do it and we are all upset right now,” Bryson Grove, McFarland’s football teammate, told 11Alive.

However, the property manager claims the inspection was not due until 2024 and that the 16 athletes who were inside the elevator when the accident happened caused an overcapacity of more than 1,000 lbs. An investigation regarding what exactly happened is still pending.

Meanwhile, McFarlands’ family and friends were devastated by his sudden death.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help his family with the expenses for his funeral. It has so far raised over $16,000.