Officials identify woman killed in Allston elevator accident as 38-year-old BU lecturer

BOSTON — A woman was killed in an accident involving an elevator in Boston Monday evening. Emergency crews flooded the area outside the building at 1140 Commonwealth Avenue shortly after 5 p.m. on Monday. At the scene, authorities told Boston 25 News that they had been responding to reports of a woman trapped.

On Tuesday evening, nearly 24 hours since the accident, officials identified the victim as 38-year-old Carrie O’Connor. Her cause of death has been ruled as traumatic asphyxia, and officials confirmed it was accidental.

O’Connor was employed at Boston University, located just down the road from the accident site. According to her faculty page on the university’s website, O’Connor was a French lecturer in the school’s Romance Studies Department. She also taught at several other local colleges and universities, including Bentley, Northeastern, Tufts, and MIT.

“The Office of Public Safety and Inspections responded to an elevator incident in Boston that tragically resulted in a fatality. The incident is under investigation and the department will continue working with first responders and other authorities to determine the cause of this accident. The elevator was recently inspected and was certified in accordance with state regulations. The department extends its deepest sympathies to the loved ones of the victim during this difficult time.”

—  Division of Professional Licensure spokesperson

Eric Carmichael’s wife heard her cries for help.

“She heard a woman in distress and tried to help her out as a neighbor," said Carmichael.

Carmichael says his wife saw the woman attempting to put a package onto the elevator.

“The lady was trying to put a package into the elevator, like that’s how we do it," said Charmichael.

Police later removing a large and long brown box from the building. They moved it out front at first, leaning it on a mailbox and then took it away.

O’Connor was a resident in the building. Neighbors told Boston 25 News Tuesday she had just moved into the building a few weeks ago.

“Five feet in front of my door is the elevator so it’s very creepy,” said Foskit.

Foskit says the building manager told him the elevator was stuck between floors.

“All that he told me was that [the elevator] was currently between the first floor and the basement," said Foskit. “[The elevator has] always worked fine. I’ve been here over a year and never had any issues with it.”

People who live at the address were shocked by what happened. Nevada Foskit was waiting out from for more than 90 minutes to get back into his home.

“I heard just an ungodly scream and we ran into the hallway and saw a gentlemen who was in distress screaming and hyperventilating and saying she’s dead, she’s dead," a woman who lives in the building, and who did not want to be identified, told Boston 25 News.

Boston Police is investigating and OSHA has also assigned a team to figure out what happened.

According to tax records, the building dates back to 1920. The building had recently been inspected and was certified.

An obit for O’Connor was posted to BU Today, a publication for the school. In it, O’Connor’s parents remember her as an avid learner, linguist and world traveler. You can read the full piece here.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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