Fort Worth

JPS: Nurse Injured in Elevator Accident Was Trapped, Crushed

Hospital reveals details of Jan. 20 accident for first time

A nurse who was injured last month in an elevator accident at Fort Worth's John Peter Smith Hospital remains in a coma and faces life-long injuries, according to the hospital’s chief executive and her family’s attorney.

The nurse was identified publicly for the first time Friday as 56-year-old Carren Stratford, a mother of two adult children.

JPS management says nurse Carren Stratford was critically injured in an elevator accident on Jan. 20, 2019.

Revealing details for the first time since the Jan. 20 incident, JPS Chief Executive Officer Robert Earley said Stratford’s right foot got caught in the elevator as it was going up. She was crushed, suffered brain and internal injuries and remains in the Intensive Care Unit.

"This woman came to work and she didn't leave work," Earley said. "There are 6,700 people who work here and I try to do my best to hug them or give them a high-five every day and to go through this is difficult."

Earley said he's considering legal action against the hospital's elevator maintenance company, thyssenkrupp, also known as TKE, and has lost confidence in their work. He said he is looking for a replacement company.

"We are not elevator experts. You hire elevator experts," he said. "And we thought we had elevator experts. We have a contract that clearly spells out what elevator companies are supposed to do for the safety and security of everybody that works here. So it's been really devastating."

In a statement late Friday, TKE said it is just now learning details of the accident from the hospital.

"We are deeply saddened to learn of the injuries sustained by nurse Stratford," the statement said. "As we have just received the details surrounding her tragic accident, it wouldn't be appropriate to provide further comment until we have had a chance to review and better understand what happened on Jan. 20, 2019."

Frank Branson, an attorney for Stratford's family, spoke at the news conference at JPS Hospital.

He praised the hospital's actions since the accident, but said the family is planning a lawsuit against the elevator company.

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