A 59-year-old New York man, Miguel Gonzalez, died in a freak accident while shoveling snow outside an Upper East Side building early Thursday morning, according to the PIX 11.
On February 9, Gonzalez – who was a doorman – was inside a building at 333 E. 93rd Street, sweeping snow from the steps when he fell into a glass window.
It was reported that the doorman was on the fifth-floor when he crashed head-first into a glass window. After the fall, Gonzalez sustained gashes on his throat and neck area.
The married grandfather – who was supposed to celebrate his 37th wedding anniversary on Valentine’s Day – was still alive after falling. Witnesses say he wrapped his hands around his neck in a bid to stop the bleeding and stated that he was okay.
When emergency responders arrived at the scene, Gonzalez was taken to the Metropolitan Hospital, where he later died.
Police officials say Gonzalez slashed an artery during the freak accident, which caused his death.
The victim’s friend, Victor Paz, – who is also the superintendent of an adjacent building – stated that he was making plans to retire next year in Puerto Rico after selling his home in Connecticut, but those plans will never take place as a freak accident claimed Gonzalez’s life.
The day before the deadly accident, it was stated that Gonzalez saw Paz and told him that he would see him tomorrow.
“It is terrible for me. I never saw him again,” said Paz.
A spokesperson stated that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is investigation the circumstances that led up to the doorman’s death.
It appears that the building Gonzalez suffered his deadly fall in was built in the 1920s, way before the “regulation mandating the use of tempered glass in entry doorways” was passed in 1997.
Plate glass is prohibited “because it can shatter into dangerous shards upon impact,” which is why tempered glass – also known as safety glass – is required instead.”
It is believed that the glass the doorman fell through was unsafe as DOB inspector may not have been to the building to inspect it.
Jason Rubin, who is a manager for New York City Glass and Door, said, “Unfortunately in my industry there are people who will come out and do a job very cheap, and instead of installing tempered glass for $500 or $600, they do plate glass for $200 to $250.”
“That window was plate glass, I can tell just looking at the shards. And I could tell from the frame the doors were not that old, the whole thing was probably installed seven to 10 years ago.”
After the tragedy, Mount Sinai Medical Cente released the following statement.
“We are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of Miguel Gonzalez, a beloved employee at Mount Sinai for more than 35 years. We want to express our heartfelt sympathy to his family, friends, and colleagues.”
The victim’s wife, Elena, was visibly upset after learning her husband was killed in a freak accident and stated that she is “leaving everything in the Lord’s hands.”
According to the doorman’s stepson, Rogelio Aponte, he took “so much joy in caring for the building.”
He said, “Maybe it was a one-in-a-million mishap — but maybe it was gross negligence.”
“When I was looking at the way the glass broke, I couldn’t believe it. I thought, ‘That glass is supposed to be tempered. How is that possible?’ “
A funeral service for the doorman will be held on Monday in Connecticut, but his body will be taken to Puerto Rico, buried at the Cementerio Municipal de Carolina, La Santa Cruz, which is what Gonzalez wanted.
An investigation continues.
[Featured Image by Machine Headz/iStock]