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Hero dies saving woman from plummeting elevator at NYE party

TRAGIC: Stephen Hewitt-Brown was crushed to death

A WOMAN who was pushed our of a falling elevator on New Year's Eve (Dec 31) has thanked the hero who risked his life to save hers.

The young man wished the woman a "Happy New Year" just before he saved her life by shoving her from a faulty elevator that suddenly took a plunge — but the brave act cost him his own life, witnesses said.

Stephen Hewett-Brown, 25, was in the crowded elevator in a block of Manhattan, New York, flats when Erudi Sanchez, 43, who lives in the building, ste​​pped inside just before midnight with her 10-year-old nephew to throw out some rubbish.

“When I got into the elevator, I felt it dropping and I thought my feet would get caught in the gap but the man pushed me out and said, ‘Happy New Year,’” Sanchez told The New York Post the day after the accident.

Suddenly, the malfunctioning ​elevator dropped farther and Brown’s body was caught between ​it and the third floor, Sanchez said.

“I saw he was trapped and the elevator was crushing him. It was awful,” she said.

The woman’s son-in-law Emanuel Coronado, 23, desperately tried to pull Brown out, but it was too late.

“I feel bad I couldn’t save him. I tried to pull him out but the weight of the elevator was too heavy,” said Coronado, who was still shaken up by the horrific accident.

He said a woman in the elevator who appeared to be with Brown was in hysterics as she witnessed him being mangled.

“She was crying. He was saying, ‘I can’t breathe. Please help me,’” Coronado recalled.

​“To me, he is a hero. My mother-in-law might not be alive right now.”

A witness told The Post that ​Brown and the other people in the elevator​, except for Sanchez,​ were dressed up and headed to a New Year’s Eve party on the 15th floor of the building.

New York fire department officials said a 911 call​ came in​ at 11.54pm — and ​emergency responders were on the scene just five minutes later.

“It was a tragic call, a very unfortunate incident,” said a spokesman.

Sanchez was grateful for Brown’s selfless last act.

“He did a very valiant act to save me. We want to thank him and his family and pray that God gives them peace and comfort. It’s something I’ll never forget,” she said.

The traumatised woman also said the building is known to have issues with the elevators.

“They don’t do a good job repairing them. Two months ago we got stuck inside and had to press the alarm button and were rescued after 15 minutes,” she said.

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