Update: Man’s Death in Hospital Elevator Case Ruled an Accident

DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) – An update about a deadly incident at Decatur Morgan Hospital last week.

That’s when co-workers found 41-year-old Dwayne Atkins of Tharptown wedged between the bottom of a freight elevator and the floor.  He died on the scene.

Today, Decatur Police say, after the autopsy, there is nothing to support any criminal charges against anyone at this time.

Morgan County Coroner Jeff Chunn says he is awaiting the full autopsy report, but at this point, the cause of death is blunt force trauma to the torso, and it has been ruled an accident.  Chunn says he’s not aware of any other contributing factor to the incident.

A spokesman with the Occupational Health and Safety Administration says the department will not conduct an investigation, because the hospital is publicly owned and operated.  Therefore, OSHA does not have jurisdiction.

The Alabama Department of Labor sent inspectors to the hospital to take a closer look at the freight elevator involved.  A spokeswoman, Tara Hutchinson, says the results of their inspection may be available by the end of this week.

Last week, Hutchinson confirmed the certification on the elevator involved was current.

WHNT News 19 also checked in with a spokesperson with Decatur Morgan Hospital, who says the staff is awaiting more information from Decatur Police in terms of what else was going on at the time when the accident occurred.

They say Atkins was not working on the elevator at the time.  The freight elevator is not used by the public.

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