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Archive for Wednesday, August 30, 2000

Vandy’s Hammond critical

August 30, 2000

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— Vanderbilt University football player Luke Hammond was in critical condition Tuesday after falling 100 feet down a dormitory elevator shaft.

Hammond, 19, a freshman linebacker from Montgomery, Ala., fell Monday night trying to climb out of a crowded elevator stopped between the ninth and 10th floors.

He suffered internal injuries, and doctors operated on him Tuesday morning, removing his spleen, university spokeswoman Elizabeth Latt said.

Thirteen people were aboard the elevator when it stopped in Carmichael Towers West, said Steve Caldwell, dean of residential and judicial affairs. The recommended maximum capacity is 10 people, and a safety feature stops the elevator when sensing an overload. Several people reportedly forced the door open and Hammond fell to the basement as he attempted to lower himself to the floor below, Caldwell said.

The remaining students on the elevator, who called university police on the elevator's emergency telephone, were safely removed.

Hammond was conscious and speaking when he was transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, officials said.

The 6-foot-3, 215-pound Hammond signed with Vanderbilt in February after an outstanding prep football career at Wetumpka (Ala.) High School.

During his senior season at Wetumpka, Hammond made more than 100 tackles and averaged 6.7 yards per carry as the team's fullback.

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