In a heartbreaking tribute to a bride-to-be who was tragically killed in a freak St. Patrick’s Day accident in Manhattan’s West Village, the family and friends of Trang-Thuy “Tina” Nguyen gathered in Philadelphia to celebrate her life Saturday.
Nguyen and her fiance, Alex Beitler, were planning to get married in July, according to the New York Daily News, Beitler having previously proposed to Tina Nguyen at the top of the Eiffel Tower.
Those plans were tragically derailed, however, last Tuesday, when Tina Nguyen was walking down the street and strong winds sent a piece of plywood sailing from a construction site, the piece of plywood hurling across the street and striking Nguyen, a 37-year-old Manhattan real estate broker, in the head
Emergency crews rushed Tina Nguyen to the hospital, but she unfortunately succumbed to her injuries.
Though obviously mourning and suffering the unthinkable pain of the tragedy, those who loved Tina Nguyen incorporated her wedding into her funeral, her bridesmaids reportedly wearing the long yellow dresses and red shoes chosen for the wedding, and the heartbroken groom, backed by his groomsmen, also wearing their formal wedding attire.
Tina Nguyen was laying in her rose-colored casket in her wedding dress in the center aisle of the church, a candle burning in her memory.
The groom, Beitler, spoke briefly during the service, and reportedly wept as he expressed his love for Tina Nguyen.
The Reverend Hugh Shields resided over Tina Nguyen’s service, acknowledging the immenseness of the tragedy, saying he was “touched by the number of broken hearts in the church,” reports the Daily Mail.
Among Tina Nguyen’s bridesmaids in a yellow dresses was Nazeela Khan, who called Nguyen one of the most kind-hearted and giving people she’d ever known.
Nguyen’s fiance expressed similar sentiments in a statement, hoping that people will be inspired by Nguyen’s positive spirit and carry it forward in their own lives, reports ABC News.
“She always saw the best in everyone. She was always reminding me to see the same. We were together for five of the best years of our lives. We planned to be married in July of this year. The family and I have decided to bury her in Philadelphia. This is the most devastating loss. She was the woman of my dreams. I hope people will remember her by seeing the best in one another and treating each other with true kindness.”
The apparently unsecured piece of plywood that took flight and killed Tina Nguyen came from a construction site overseen by Turner Construction Company who has had its share of past problems with safety, Nguyen’s death being preceded by several 2013 safety complaints against the company.
Turner Construction did express their condolences to Tina Nguyen’s loved ones however, releasing a statement Wednesday that claimed safety was their “number one priority” and that they were “conducting an investigation into the circumstances of the incident.”
Regardless, after Tina Nguyen was killed by the flying piece of plywood, the West Village construction site was shut down, the Building department citing “11 serious code violations in the last three years.”
To honor Tina Nguyen’s life, her family asked that any donations be sent to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
“We grieve that we will not see her walk down the aisle to marry her perfect mate, Alex,” said a statement form Tina Nguyen’s family. “The world is a dimmer place without her.”
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