Woman in wheelchair rescued after being stuck in lift for 6 hours in cold, rain

Posted: Updated:
HAWTHORNE -

A woman in Hawthorne is lucky to be alive thanks to some quick thinking and heroic work by a group of first responders.

Mary Slavik, who is a paraplegic, tried to come up in a wheelchair on a chair lift from her basement apartment Saturday and got stuck for nearly six hours.

"All of a sudden, I heard a screech and a boom. I thought there was an accident on 9A," she says.

Slavik and her aide called 911, but EMS, the Westchester County technical rescue team and multiple fire departments from Hawthorne to Pleasantville were unsuccessful getting her off the lift.

They then came up with a successful plan to call a tow truck and use its boom to pick her and her wheelchair off the lift.

Slavik said she's getting rid of the lift and going to install a ramp to come up to her driveway.

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