The death of a construction worker who fell from a high-rise building in downtown Los Angeles was reported as a possible suicide, the coroner said Friday morning, but it remains under investigation.
Joseph Sabbatino, a 36-year-old electrician, was on his second day on the job Thursday when he plummeted from the 53rd story of the Wilshire Grand Hotel project and landed on a car passing by.
A Cal/OHSA and Los Angeles Police Department investigation determined the fall was not work-related, and it appears there were no "fall protection" violations.
Chris Martin of the Martin Management Company, which is involved in the construction, said workers must wear safety harnesses and are protected by barricades around the exterior of the building.
According to the company, Sabbatino did not have a harness because he was not supposed to be above the third floor, which is where he was schedule to do his work. He was issued a hard hat as is mandated for anyone on site.
The company says when Sabbatino plunged, many of the workers on the 53rd floor were on a lunch break. But it was not clear if anyone was with him or witnessed his fall.
The construction site remained quiet a day after the death. There was no work done out of respect for the victim and his family, as well as for the project's hundreds of employees. Mourners placed flowers at the bottom of the building.
Work at the Wilshire Grand, slated to be the tallest skyscraper in the West upon completion, will resume Monday.