The Fountain City Police Department said Tuesday that no crime was committed when a Winona State student was killed after the food elevator crushed her at the WingDam Saloon and Grill in Fountain City.
Police said on Monday, Dec. 1, a cook at the grill found Brooke Baures, 21, trapped in the food elevator on the first floor of the saloon. A female bartender immediately called 911 for help. Fountain City emergency responders found Baures was dead at the scene.
An investigation determined that Baures was working at a buffet area on the second floor of the saloon Monday night when the incident happened. According to Fountain City Police, none of the 18 people on the floor saw what happened as the dumbwaiter is out of sight of the banquet area. Based on witnesses' statements, police believe Baures pressed the control button on the second floor for the food elevator to go down to the first floor. Autopsy results led police to believe Baures' head was entirely inside the elevator when the elevator descended. A preliminary autopsy report said that Baures died of severe head trauma.
The statement from the department said that there are wall mounted wood doors that open and close by the elevator on both the first and second floors. As the doors don't affect how the elevator operates, the statement said that anyone operating the elevator needed to physically stay clear of the device as it runs up or down to avoid injury.
At the direction of the State of Wisconsin, Department of Safety and Professional Services, the elevator was permanently removed from the building on Saturday, December 6th.
Fountain City Police Chief Jason Mork said that a final autopsy report, including toxicology reports, won't be available for several weeks.