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Police identify toddler killed in elevator accident at Little Rock home

by Brandon Riddle, Emma Pettit | February 3, 2017 at 12:46 p.m.
Pulaski County coroner’s van is parked Wednesday afternoon in front of 2900 N. Taylor St. in Little Rock.

In a report released Friday, police identified a toddler killed earlier this week in an elevator accident at a home in Little Rock’s Heights neighborhood.

The Little Rock Police Department said Fletcher Hartz, 2, died Wednesday after becoming trapped underneath a residential elevator at a residence in the 2900 block of North Taylor Street.

Within about 30 minutes of their arrival around noon Wednesday, authorities were able to lift the elevator off the boy and found the child in the first-floor elevator shaft, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette previously reported.

Most residential elevators are not registered with the state unless they are in apartment complexes, said Denise Oxley, general counsel for the Arkansas Department of Labor. A division of the department oversees the regulations for conveyances, like elevators and escalators, in commercial spaces.

An elevator in a private, single-family dwelling is not subject to inspection or testing from the state, Oxley said. Builders and contractors who install elevators in those homes are still required to meet safety standards, she added.

Commercial elevators that carry people are inspected every six months, Oxley said. Freight elevators are inspected annually.

A 2005 law passed by the General Assembly required contractors that install elevators to be licensed with the state, Oxley said.

Information regarding how Fletcher got into the shaft as well as whether the elevator malfunctioned has not been released.

An obituary that ran Friday in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette described Fletcher as “a somewhat shy, somewhat sly, brown-headed bruiser that was destined to give the girls fits.”

“Fletcher was destined to be an engineer,” the obituary reads. “Most toys held no fascination for him, but did he ever love electronic switches and whatever they operated.”

Read Saturday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.


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