Ridgefield girls tell story of father’s 9/11 escape and survival
Ridgefield residents Brooke and Lauren Elliott weren’t alive on September 11, 2001 but they’ve heard stories from that fateful day, and how their father escaped from the South Tower of the World Trade Center.
The Elliott girls paid tribute to their dad, Todd, in a YouTube video titled, “9/11 How My Dad ESCAPED From The World Trade Center September 11th 2001.”
“This is the story of how my Dad Todd escaped from tower 2 of the World Trade Center on September 11th 2001,” the Elliott girls wrote in their initial YouTube post two years ago. “This September 11th we ask that you never forget those who lost their lives, to honor the heros who gave all and to remember the families who grieve for their loved ones they lost. In memory today and always, we will never forget.”
The video, which has more than 10,000 views on YouTube, begins with images of the World Trade Center in the New York City skyline. It flashes quickly to dozens of images from the destruction and aftermath of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
“Although I wasn’t born yet or even a figment of our parent’s imagination at the time, I’ve heard my parents retell the events of that day many times, and each year on the anniversary we remember who were lost that day,” narrates Brooke, a Ridgefield High School student.
“In 2001, my parents were fresh out of college and engaged to be married,” she continues. “My father was offered a job with Morgan Stanely and they moved to Hoboken, New Jersey, excited to begin this next chapter of their life.”
The video goes on to say that Todd Elliott worked on the 60th floor of Tower 2.
“September 11, 2001 started off like a morning like any other ... my father started work at 7 a.m. and it was business as usual. Little did he know that an hour later two planes from Boston would take off with terrorist hijackers on board.”
The video goes on to describe Todd Elliott’s survival.
“The only way out was walking out down 60 flights of stairs,” the girls say in the video. “...As you can imagine walking down 60 flights of stairs takes a lot of time. Just as he took two steps out the door, he watched United Flight 175 crash into his building right above his head.”
Todd Elliott’s story was also retold to capecod.com when the video was originally produced in the summer of 2017.
His sister Leah McPhearson recounted her family’s story — and perspective — after hearing about the terrorist attacks that day and the fear that came over them when they realized Todd was at work in the World Trade Center.
“[I was] living at home with my parents, getting ready for work and turned the TV on to pass time,” she told capecod.com. “[I] saw the first tower in flames and called my brother at work, he said he the towers were swaying worse than usual and was leaving. Then I saw the second plane flying by. I thought they were going to help Tower 1… but I was wrong. I waited by the phone praying and crying for him. We got a call 30 [minutes] later from a Lighthouse Gift Store NYC on my caller ID. It was Todd. He was out and making his way home.”