DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) – An employee at the Decatur Morgan Hospital Decatur campus died Wednesday evening after an accident involving a freight elevator, according to Decatur Morgan Hospital President Nat Richardson.
Decatur Police identify Michael “Dewayne” Atkins, 41, as the victim.
Investigators say a call came in at 6:45 p.m. about a person who was involved in an accident with an elevator on the 8th Street side of the hospital, near the ER entrance. When they got there, they found Atkins pinned under the elevator. His co-workers had found him there.
“We are deeply saddened at the loss of one of our own,” Richardson told WHNT News 19 from the scene Wednesday.
Decatur Morgan Hospital is working with police, but does not plan to release any additional information.
Investigators say they sent Atkins’ body to the Huntsville Alabama Department of Forensic Science for an autopsy. However, it was transferred to Montgomery since examiners in Huntsville only handle homicide cases. Investigators are awaiting results to determine if there were any other factors that might have contributed to Atkins’ death.
The events that led to his death are still under investigation.
Decatur-Morgan Hospital Spokeswoman Leigh Hays said Atkins started working at Parkway Medical Center in 2011 and quickly made a lot of friends.
This week, the hospital staff had been celebrating the first anniversary of the merger of Parkway Medical Center, Decatur General, and Huntsville Hospitals and had various fun activities planned.
In light of the fatal incident, all employee celebrations were cancelled. Hays said there is a grassroots campaign started by employees to do something in Atkins’ honor.
Meanwhile, inspectors from the Alabama Department of Labor are in Decatur examining the freight elevator involved. A spokesperson for that department said records show the elevator’s certification was current.
Hays confirmed all of the elevators in the hospital go through inspections and are currently up to code. She said the freight elevator involved moves from the first floor to the second floor and is used by staffers only to move supplies in and out, but not patients.
Decatur Police also notified the Occupational Health and Safety Administration.