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Construction Worker Found Dead in NYC Elevator Shaft

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    A construction worker and a father of five was found dead in an elevator shaft in New York City. Wale Aliyu reports. (Published Sunday, July 23, 2017)

    A construction worker and father of five was found dead in an elevator shaft in Manhattan Sunday, authorities say.

    Police responded to a call after 7 a.m. Sunday of an unconscious person at 555 10th Ave., the location of a luxury apartment building partially under construction. The 53-year-old worker was found between the elevator and elevator shaft, police said. 

    The man, identified as Steven Simpson of Brooklyn, was pronounced dead at the scene.

    "My heart is so broken," Crystal Mack, Simpson's wife, said. "I don't know how I'm going to live or move on. I don't know what to do or what the next move is."

    Simpson had clocked out of work Saturday around 3:30 p.m., his co-workers told police. He then realized he forgot something and turned back. 

    Police said Simpson was going up the elevator, before it lost power and got stuck.

    "I know he was trying to get out of the elevator shaft because it was his son's birthday," Kevin Welch, Simpson's brother-in-law, said. "Nothing in this world could make him miss being there with his son." 

    @NYPDBklynNorth / Twitter

    With other workers gone for the day, he tried to pry the doors open. Unexpectedly, the elevator began to move and caught Simpson between the floor and the top portion of the doorway, according to police. 

    Mack said his worried family went by the building looking for him Saturday night. His phone showed that he was there, but they couldn't find him, she said. They called his phone a bunch of times, but nobody answered. Nobody was inside the building to ask either. 

    They tried to file a missing persons report, but because they had no information to go on, police advised them to come back. 

    "He knows it was his son's birthday and he knows my birthday is in September," Mack said. "He wanted to do something for me for my birthday so he's working to get this extra money and now he's gone." 

    A co-worker came back to the building site Sunday morning and found Simpson dead. 

    The family woke up to the news that somebody died there and immediately knew who it was. 

    Mack couldn't help but to break down after having to tell her son Shane why his dad wasn't able to make it home on his 9th birthday. 

    Simpson leaves behind his wife, five children and several siblings. 

    "This is a tragic situation," the construction company said in a statement. "Our hearts go out to the family and friends of the victim."