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Former Pattonville High School student dies in Atlanta elevator collapse

Jaumarcus McFarland died after an elevator collapsed and pinned him between the second and third floor of a mixed-use building that had been used for student housing

ATLANTA — A former Pattonville High School student was killed in an elevator collapse in Atlanta Wednesday afternoon.

Champion Prep Academy's owner, Michael Carson, identified the victim as Jaumarcus McFarland, a former Pattonville student. McFarland was a member of Champion Prep Academy, a post-graduate school for students who have not entered college and are seeking to gain experience as students and athletes.

A spokeswoman for the Pattonville School District confirmed that McFarland attended Pattonville High School for his freshman year.

McFarland died after an elevator collapsed and pinned him between the second and third floor of a mixed-use building that had been used for student housing.

According to KSDK's sister station 11Alive, crews reportedly responded "within minutes" to the call regarding a man in his early 20s pinned between an elevator. The fire department said they arrived and discovered the elevator had collapsed and left him stuck between the second and third floors.

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Authorities said the victim had a "faint pulse," but he was not alert during the hour-long extrication.

Once they got him out, he was taken to the Atlanta Medical Center, which is located near the building, where officials said he went into cardiac arrest and later died.

Champion Prep Academy's owner, Carson, confirmed that the victim, McFarland, was enrolled as a student-athlete there. The school said his parents are currently en route to Atlanta from Missouri.

The elevator is shut down until a state inspector determines the reason for the collapse, the fire department said. Late Tuesday evening, a communications agency released a statement on behalf of the property manager, saying state inspectors will release their findings when the report is complete, so they didn't want to go into too much detail about the incident at this time.

"What we can say is the weight capacity of the elevator was 3000 lbs. — but the 16 young athletes who were inside the elevator when this occurred pushed that limit to nearly 4000 lbs. Unfortunately, this appears to be what started the domino effect of events leading to the unfortunate death of this young man. This is a horrible tragedy, and it deeply saddens us all that this has happened," reads the statement from Nathan Phillips, the property manager.

An official with the state insurance commissioner's office told 11Alive's Joe Henke that inspectors have already come out to investigate the cause of the elevator collapse, but they're still working to determine exactly what happened. They said the permit for the elevator in question expired in Aug. 2020.

However, in the property manager's statement, they claimed the elevator was not due for its five-year inspection until 2024. They said "smaller" inspections do take place annually.

A GoFundMe page has been started for McFarland's family.