A female guard at the Spokane County Jail was briefly knocked out and injured during an elevator accident in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Dep. Janice A. Bauer was taken to a hospital for observation and treatment of minor injuries and then released, jail administrators say, after a descending elevator on the secured side of the jail overshot its designated floor by about four feet and then stopped abruptly.
The deputy was knocked to the floor by the sudden stop and banged her wrist and elbow against a handrail, Lt. Aaron Anderton says. She was riding alone in the elevator car. Other staffers had to pry the elevator doors open to reach her.
“We have ongoing problems with the elevators where they break down and we continue to work to try and address that issue,” Anderton says. The county commissioners recently authorized the purchase of new, more powerful generators to run the elevators. The generators have been lifted to the jail roof by helicopter but have yet to be installed, Anderton says.
The jail was on overnight lockdown at the time of the accident and remained that way until the elevator was returned to service at about 1 pm Monday, Anderton says.
The jail has four elevators. Two are on the public side of the building to take people to visiting rooms. Two larger ones on the secured side are used for inmate and staff transport, and delivery of food and other jail supplies.