Man trying to retrieve phone crushed to death by elevator

Crime Scene File Photo.

Officials say a New York City building worker was fatally crushed by elevator machinery while trying to retrieve a cell phone that had apparently fallen down the shaft.

Police say Kennie Lessie died Friday afternoon in a building on Parkside Avenue in the Prospect-Lefferts Gardens section of Brooklyn. He was 64 and an assistant superintendent in the six-story apartment house.

According to police and the Department of Buildings, Lessie and a tenant went into the basement elevator room to search for a phone, and Lessie got caught in moving ropes and machinery as the elevator moved among floors.

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Head superintendent Eddie Adis tells the Daily News that Lessie was crushed. Lessie was pronounced dead at the scene.

Authorities say the tenant suffered a minor arm injury while trying to help Lessie.

Lessie's wife, Allison Williams, tells the Daily News that he worked in the building for nearly 30 years, after coming to New York from Grenada in 1992.

She says he was a hard worker who liked to fix things and thought of everyone else before himself.