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Tests show OSU student killed by elevator wasn't intoxicated

| Thursday, Dec. 21, 2006

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - An Ohio State University student pinned and killed when he tried to get off a dormitory elevator as it unexpectedly descended was not drunk and had no drugs in his system, test results show.

Andrew Polakowski, 18, had only a trace amount of alcohol in his system, which wasn't enough to impair his abilities and could have been caused by the body's decomposition, Franklin County Coroner Brad Lewis said Wednesday.

Polakowski, a freshman from Erie, Pa., was killed in October when he was pinned between the top of the elevator doors and the third floor.

"He was pinned tight enough he couldn't breathe, which caused his heart to stop beating," Lewis said.

Authorities said the elevator was crowded with 24 people, exceeding its weight capacity by as much as 1,100 pounds, and began to descend with its doors open.

The elevator failed brake tests conducted after the accident and could not hold its 2,500-pound weight limit, state investigators found.

Ohio State officials have said the university's report on the accident was awaiting the toxicology results from the coroner. The university repaired several other residence hall elevators that failed brake tests after Polakowski's death.

Polakowski's family has asked outside experts to examine the elevator.

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