Man Killed in Freak Tape-Measure Accident

It fell 50 floors, fatally struck NJ construction worker on the head
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 4, 2014 6:33 AM CST
Guy Killed in Freak Tape-Measure Accident
Workers on the site of the tunnel currently being constructed to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct in Seattle on Sept. 18, 2014.   (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

It was the tragically wrong place at the wrong time for 58-year-old construction worker Gary Anderson yesterday morning, when he pulled up to a 50-story apartment building under construction in Jersey City, NJ, to deliver sheetrock. He parked, poked his head into a vehicle to talk to someone, and then pulled it back out again. At that very moment a 1-pound tape measure slipped off a contractor's belt 50 stories above, hit some construction equipment about a dozen feet off the ground, and then ricocheted onto Anderson's head, reports WNBC-TV.

Anderson was knocked out, went into cardiac arrest while being treated, and died at the hospital less than an hour later. He wasn't wearing a hard hat, but police say there was one in his truck at the time, reports ABC News. The Jersey City Department of Public Safety stressed that people working at construction sites must wear helmets at all times. (In another freak accident, a Chicago bride-to-be was killed by a falling gargoyle in September.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.