NEW YORK (PIX11/AP) - A real estate broker who was struck Tuesday by a section of plywood sent airborne by heavy winds has died, the construction company involved in the incident confirmed in a statement.
Tina Nguyen, 37, was walking on West 12th Street when a strong gust tore the piece of plywood free from the fencing around a construction site and propelled it toward her. The 4-by-8-foot piece of wood crashed into her, knocking Nguyen to the sidewalk. She struck her head on the ground and suffered severe trauma, bruising and lacerations, according to authorities.
A witness who did not want to be identified said he found the woman lying on the ground in a nearby parking garage bleeding from the head and appearing to slide in and out of consciousness. Nguyen was taken to Bellevue Hospital where she later died.
"This is one of the windiest corners in all of Manhattan. I wasn't shocked, but it was a terrible tragedy," said Barbara Bluth, who has lived in the neighborhood for more than 45 years.
The Department of Buildings is investigating and said the site has multiple violations, including an incident last year when another flying piece of debris hit someone in the head. The DOB has issued a Stop Work Order on the building, which sits steps from an elementary school.
The address used to belong to St. Vincent's Hospital and is now being turned into a high-end condominium building, Rudin luxury housing.
Turner Construction spokesman Chris McFadden said in a statement that the company is "deeply saddened by the death," and that "Our thoughts and prayers are with her family during this very difficult time."
"Safety on and around our jobsites is always our number one priority," the statement reads. "We are conducting an investigation into the circumstances of the incident. We are also fully cooperating with investigations by the Department of Buildings and other agencies looking into this incident."