Popular Southwest Florida chef and caterer Brian Roland was injured by a freight elevator at a car dealership Saturday night.
According to an incident report from the Collier County Sheriff’s Office, first responders found Roland, 42, trapped beneath a freight elevator platform at Ferrari Naples, located at 11291 Tamiami Trail N., at around 9:30 p.m. A party was being held at the time of the incident.
He was pulled out from beneath the elevator and transported to Lee Memorial Hospital to be treated for his injuries. At last check, Roland was in critical condition.
No one has said how Roland became pinned under an elevator that was designed to raise and lower cars. But friends of the chef are asking everyone to keep him in their prayers.
He is a husband, a father, and an entrepreneur. Diane Pisani says he’s touched lives. “And somebody who has touched more lives than I can even imagine,” said Pisani.
Roland is the owner of Crave Culinaire, located at 9241 Brookwood Court in Bonita Springs, and formerly executive chef at M Waterfront Grille, located at 4300 Gulf Shore Blvd. N. in Naples.
“And he… he’s one of our… one of our biggest success stories in town, truly, truly gives back to the community,” said Pisani.
“Some people know him closely. And some of us… some of us more from afar, but everybody knows him, everybody,” Pisani said.
Kevin Aizenshtat lives in Collier County and is close to Roland. “So I feel like, you know, a little brother kind of relationship,” Aizenshtat said. “Brian Roland is a person who leads with his heart. He’s a very giving person. He gives back to the community.”
Aizenshtat says this is heartbreaking and wants people to keep Roland in their prayers. “Heartbreak, community prayers. Everybody’s got Brian, his family in their prayers,” said Aizenshtat.
Felipe Pereira posted on Facebook on Monday, calling for prayers as well. “He’s well known. And I think, you know, everybody has the same sentiments that I have, right, that he’s a great guy, great family guy,” Pereira said.
“The way that he gives back to the community that you can’t help but pray for Brian in his family in his… in his daughter, and hope that everything comes out well,” said Aizenshtat.
“A lot of tears were shed this morning. But every… everybody here comes together for stuff. And I cannot even begin to imagine a bigger group of prayer warriors for Brian, his family, and his doctors,” said Pisani.
We’re working to determine how he ended up beneath the elevator and whether it malfunctioned. The Collier County Sheriff’s Office does not suspect any criminal activity and instead believes this to be a terrible accident.
OSHA has also opened an investigation into what happened on Saturday night.