Doctor Decapitated In Elevator AccidentInvestigation Under Way Following Doctor's Death
POSTED: 9:53 a.m. CDT August 18, 2003
UPDATED: 5:58 p.m. CDT August 18, 2003
HOUSTON -- Officials of a downtown hospital are investigating the death of a surgical resident who was decapitated in an elevator mishap.
Christus St. Joseph Hospital may release additional information about Hitoshi Nikaidoh's death after a closed briefing Monday, said hospital spokeswoman India Chumney Hancock.
Nikaidoh, 35, of Dallas, was stepping into a second-floor elevator about 9:30 a.m. Saturday when the doors suddenly closed, pinning his shoulders. His head was severed when the elevator car moved upward. A female hospital employee witnessed the accident and spent about 20 minutes trapped inside the malfunctioning elevator until firefighters were able to rescue her.
The traumatized employee who witnessed the death was taken to the hospital's emergency room for treatment of shock, but was released later that day, said Hancock.
Photographs and measurements at the elevator by Houston police crime scene specialists were passed to Harris County medical examiners who continued conducting their inquiry into the accident. The entire elevator bank where Nikaidoh was killed was pulled from operation, but St. Joseph Hospital officials said the decision won't affect patient services.
The University of Texas Health Science Center's Dr. Margaret McNeese taught Nikaidoh for four years throughout medical school.
"He was a remarkable individual. He was one of the few students in all of my years here that I never saw him complain, without a smile on his face and any activity, regardless of how small or insignificant it might have seemed, he gladly took it on and did it to its full extent," McNeese said.
Nikaidoh graduated in 2003 from the University of Texas-Houston Medical School. --http://www.click2houston.com/news/2412223/detail.html