THE BRONX - Neighbors of a Bronx man who died under strange circumstances on Christmas Eve say he jumped out of a broken elevator because he was scared.

Witnesses say Olegario Pabon, 84, jumped out and hit his head.

They say Pabon, injured by the fall, crawled to a nearby apartment screaming for help. He was apparently conscious for a while and able to tell neighbors what had happened.

They say he told them the elevator began to jerk up and down, which is why he made the leap.

Officials say the man died from the head injury and a combination of medications he had been taking.

Tenants at the building, most of them senior citizens, say the elevator has been faulty for years.

The elevator has since been marked with an out-of-service sign.

NYCHA says it is investigating the matter along with the Department of Buildings, and that necessary repairs will be made.