The accident occurred at a high-rise apartment building on Broome Street in Manhattan's lower east side.
The woman was reportedly about to exit to the third floor when the elevator began moving down.
"She started going in, but the elevator started going down and he pushed her out", Coronado said. She says when the victim "stepped out, the elevator just came down and it just crushed him".
Witnesses told the Daily News Hewett-Brown died after heroically shoving a woman out of harm's way.
Hewett-Brown was pronounced dead at a hospital.
One resident named Alberto said there have been issues in the past with the elevator.
"He was trying to help my aunt get out", Angel said.
According to the Buildings Department, the management company Wavecrest has been hit with more than 40 elevator violations since 2009.
A man was killed mere minutes to midnight on New Year's Eve after saving a stranger from a malfunctioning elevator that was about to plummet. The building has a history of elevator service complaints, reports NBC and CBS.