The Boston Licensing Board decides Thursday whether to take any action against Fenway Park for a May 16 incident in which a woman celebrating her graduation from Boston University suffered serious head injuries in a fall down an elevator shaft.
After the incident, police cited Fenway for her injuries and for allegedly overserving her.
BPD Det. William Parlon told the board today that police, the state elevator inspector and engineers from Otis Elevator are unable to definitively say why the door at the elevator, on the fourth floor near Gate B opened as the woman and her family gathered around the elevator doors at the end of a Sox/Tigers game:
"It is not known exactly what happened, but apparently somebody put their weight against the doors and it opened and she fell down the shaft," Parlon said.
Parlon and Fenway officials said the woman and about 15 family members had attended the game to celebrate her BU graduation and her impending job at Price, Waterhouse. During the game, they shared a closed off area near the elevator, centered on a picnic table and a bar.
Fenway attorney Dennis Quilty sought to have the overserving citation simply dismissed, saying neither of the police reports submitted into evidence even mentioned alcohol.
The detective said the citation came about after another detective, Daniel Keeler, interviewed her doctor at Beth Israel Deaconess, who told him he was unable to give her certain medications because of alcohol in her system.
Board member Milton Wright said this didn't necessarily mean she had been overserved, because some medications might be contraindicated even at low levels of alcohol. Keeler did not attend the hearing to further explain his conversation with the physician.
Tristan Mowe, the bartender who manned the bar, said he served the woman three or four beers over the course of the game, but said she never appeared intoxicated. Board Chairwoman Nicole Murati Ferrer asked if he had observed her swaying at all or saw her with bloodshot eyes. He said no. "Did you observe any signs of intoxication when you served her last beer?" she asked. The bartender again replied no.
Fenway security director Charles Cellucci said he got a radio call around 11:15 p.m. that a person had fallen into the shaft. He said when he got to the area, he noticed a man, 50 to 55, at the door, which was by then hanging from the top hinges, looking down the shaft and "trying to console the victim." He said he later learned the man was the victim's father. He said firefighters and EMTs arrived soon after and spent 45 minutes extracting her from the shaft and preparing her for transportation to Beth Israel.
Cellucci added that while several Fenway employees saw the family around the elevator door, none reported seeing the door at the moment it opened.