A 23-year-old man was on his way home from work when white bricks broke off of a Game Stop in Elmhurst and pummeled him to the ground on Thursday.
“It was just windy and it kept blowing and blowing and then one more big blow and I saw the bricks fall on him,” Martin Winslow, who was parking his car in the municipal lot across the street at the time. “I know I saw this guy walking and then the bricks fell and I didn't see him anymore and then I heard a woman screamed, 'He's under the bricks, he's under the bricks.'”
The victim has since been identified as Dworin St. Thomas and officials say he suffered a broken leg, multiple lacerations and a concussion but is expected to be OK.
“There was a lot of blood,” Winslow said. “I knew he wasn't dead but I saw blood on his head and all over his body but the firefighters and police came so fast so I think he is going to be good.”
The bricks also struck a nearby mini-van, shattering the dashboard window and hood but St. Thomas was the only person injured.
The building façade, located on the corner of Queens Boulevard and 92nd Street, fell over at approximately 4:15 p.m. and by 5 p.m. neighboring shops and offices were evacuated while the Fire Department inspected the structure to ensure it was safe to enter.
“I was going home for the day and I got into the elevator and heard them going around telling people to get out but that wasn't until 5:00 or so,” one woman said. “I didn't even know that it was this bad. I just came out and saw all of the trucks and the bricks on the floor.”
At the scene, police got in contact with the Department of Buildings. Several inspectors to determine the cause of the collapse and an investigation is ongoing.