Man killed in elevator accident at St. Pete Beach resort - WFLA News Channel 8

Man killed in elevator accident at St. Pete Beach resort

Posted: Updated:
ST PETE BEACH, FL (WFLA) -

A falling elevator crushed and killed a Tampa man at the Tradewinds Resort on St. Pete Beach.

Investigators say 45-year-old Mark Johnson was doing contract work in the shaft when the elevator came rolling down.

The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office says the elevator was locked on the second floor while Johnson was leaning into the shaft cleaning up water, until the elevator came falling down.

This normally idyllic beach resort on St Pete Beach was swarming with investigators on Wednesday. The 911 call came in at 10:57 a.m.

The Pinellas county sheriff's office says two employees with SWS environmental services were contracted to do clean up work at the Jacaranda Beach Villa.

An official said the two were cleaning up water at the bottom of an elevator shaft.

During the clean up, one of the men, 45-year-old Mark Johnson from Tampa was leaning half of his body into the shaft.

Pinellas County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Cristen Rensel said, "They had already had two barrels full when the elevator fell."

An elevator on the second floor was coming down.

Rensel said, "The elevator had been locked with a key by maintenance of the Tradewinds, they had been working for about 40 minutes when the elevator came down on one of the gentlemen and he is deceased."

Johnson died after he was crushed.

St Pete beach fire marshal Ernie Hand said this was a hydraulic elevator that differs from a cable elevator.

Hand said, "Hydraulic elevators work a little slower, they come down real slow, you cannot drop a hydraulic elevator real fast."

The president of the Tradewinds Resort is cooperating in the investigation and says the elevator was inspected this week.

Tradewinds President Keith Overton said, "On Monday, April 22nd, two days ago, we had a routine elevator inspection, all of them passed, including the elevator where the incident occurred [Wednesday.]"

In a statement, Tradewinds said no guests or employees were injured or at risk during this incident.

SWS environmental services has not commented at this time.

The Pinellas county sheriff's office is investigating this as an accidental death and it has also been reported to OSHA.

Stay with WFLA.com for more updates.

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