An Illinois premises liability accident has resulted in severe head injuries to a toddler that were suffered in a fall down an elevator shaft at a Joliet Hotel, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting. The boy, who fell approximately 30 feet on Sunday afternoon at a hotel located at 26 W. Clinton St., was airlifted from Joliet’s Silver Cross Hospital to Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago and is expected to survive.
Guests heard the boy crying from the elevator and the desk clerk called the police for help. The elevator was stopped between the first and second floors and was not moving.
Video footage shows the child left his third floor room and went to the elevator, followed by his mother who brought the boy back to the room. A few minutes later, the video shows the boy going to the elevator and pressing the call button. He entered the elevator and began pushing buttons.
A Joliet police officer noted that there was an emergency switch inside the elevator that stops the car as soon as it is pushed. The doors to the elevator car open when the emergency button is triggered but the doors to the outside hallway do not. Authorities believe the two-year-old pushed the emergency button between floors one and two.
An officer noted that there was a 10-inch gap between the elevator and the shaft when the emergency button was used. It is believed that the boy fell approximately 30 feet down this gap to the bottom of the shaft in the basement.
The incident is under investigation but no charges have been brought at this time.