A 18-year-old football player from Maryland Heights, Missouri has lost his life in a tragic elevator accident.
According to PEOPLE, JauMarcus McFarland was a student of Champion Prep Academy in Atlanta, Georgia, which is a postgraduate academic-athletic program for students who want to play college football.
He and his teammates were staying in student housing in Northeast Atlanta when they entered the building elevator around 3 p.m. The elevator collapsed, taking McFarland down and pinning him between the second and third floors.
PEOPLE reports he was trapped for almost an hour and his teammates tried to free him. The Atlanta Fire Rescue Department was able to free him but the teen later died from his injuries at the Atlanta Medical Center.
Michael Carson, president and founder of Georgia Prep Sports Academy, told PEOPLE, “We all are experiencing the loss of JauMarcus at this present time. It’s definitely a tragedy to our program, and his family in Missouri is utterly devastated.”
He continued, “We get kids from all across the country to come into our program. JauMarcus was just an outstanding kid and a super athlete. He had so much potential. He was 6’6″, 300 lbs.; a left tackle with great footwork. He was one of the leaders on his team. Very respectful, very humble, and very focused. Guys really respected him and his work ethic. We’re all just in shock.”
The State Insurance Commissioner’s office, who is responsible for inspecting the elevators, did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment. However, a spokesman for the State Insurance Commissioner’s office told WAGA-TV that the operating permit for the unit expired in August of last year, stating, “Inspections are required by state law to be done on an annual basis and it is the building owner’s responsibility to request this yearly inspection from our office. We do not have a record of any such request from this building.”
The building’s property manager claims that the elevator was serviced last week, passed an inspection in August 2019 and wasn’t due for an inspection until 2024, according to CBS46.
PEOPLE reports official inspection reports are pending.