A 63-year-old man on his way to the Chicago Theater died Saturday night after he apparently fell off an employee “man lift’’ at a downtown parking garage and plummeted three stories to his death, police said.
Police at the State Parking Garage at 171 N. Wabash Ave. said the man -- identified by the Cook County Medical Examiner's office as George Davis, of the 10000 block of S. Yale Avenue -- was with his wife and heading to an 8 p.m. performance by Anita Baker when he hopped on the lift, which resembles a vertical conveyer belt and requires riders to hold on to an overhead bar.
The lift was described as open-air shaft used by garage employees and valets to obtain customers’ cars on different levels of the three-story building.
Police aren’t sure why Davis got on the lift, which officials said was blocked off and had a sign warning the public not to use it.
“We have no idea why he got on,’’ said an officer at the scene late Saturday.
A valet who used to work at the garage said the lift was normally locked and blocked by a gate.
There are stairs but no public elevator in the garage.
Paramedics were called to the garage at 7:44 p.m., Fire Media Affairs Chief Joe Roccasalva said. Davis was pronounced dead on arrival at 8:21 p.m. at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Roccasalva said.
An autopsy on Sunday found that Davis died of multiple injuries from a fall, and his death was ruled an accident, according to the medical examiner's office.
An official with the city Buildings Department posted a sign at the garage Saturday shutting down the lift. He declined to comment.