The Los Angeles County coroner has ruled suicide in the death of an electrician who fell 53 stories at the Wilshire Grand Center skyscraper construction site last week. According to a report from the Associated Press, Joseph Sabbatino, 36, of Palmdale, was working his second day at the site when he plunged about 800 ft and landed on the back of a car at a busy intersection.
The 53rd level had a barricade to prevent falls, and the company quickly issued a statement saying the incident was not work related.
ORIGINAL STORY from March 18:
An electrician in his second day on the job plunged some 800 ft from a Los Angeles skyscraper to his death yesterday.
According to an Associated Press report, the worker fell around noon from Wilshire Grand Center onto the back edge of a passing car. It happened at one of the busiest times of day at one of the busiest intersections in downtown Los Angeles.
The worker was an electrician with ASSI, according to a spokeswoman with California Division of Occupational Safety and Health.
LA Times staff photographer Mel Melcon was actually on assignment at the construction site when the man fell to his death. At about noon, Melcon took a construction hoist from the 71st floor down to the first floor of the hotel, which will be the West Coast’s tallest building when it is completed. Melcon had taken only five steps off the hoist and was walking toward Wilshire Boulevard when he heard what sounded like “a large bag of cement hitting the ground," the LA Times reported.
The worker was not supposed to be above the third floor and had removed his hard hat before falling 53 floors, construction company officials said as reported by CBS Sacramento. The worker had not been wearing a safety harness either because it wasn’t required for the bottom floors he was working on, said Lisa Gritzner, spokeswoman for Turner Construction, the main contractor on the project.
The 73-story skyscraper will be about 1,100 feet tall, or nearly a quarter-mile, when it’s completed.