What to Know
- Doorman Miguel Gonzalez died in a freak accident Thursday while shoveling snow in Manhattan
- Authorities say he slipped, went through a window, and died from lacerations to his neck
- His was the first death attributed directly to the major snowstorm that hit the tri-state region
The doorman at a Yorkville apartment building that provides housing for doctors and residents died in a gruesome accident Thursday morning after slipping while shoveling snow, family members and law enforcement sources said.
Miguel Gonzalez, 59, was shoveling the steps of the building at 333 E. 93rd St. -- where many Mount Sinai doctors and residents live -- when he slipped and fell through a plate glass window.
"I went to go finish [cleaning] my buildings when I noticed, I seen the ambulance," said Jonathan, who works in a building nearby. "When I came back, they were doing CPR and he fell."
The window caused what were described as "severe lacerations" to his neck, and he was ultimately pronounced dead at a local hospital.
Denise Rich, a resident of the building, said people called the always smiling Gonzalez "Uncle Mickey."
"He always had a big smile and a big hello," Rich said as she struggled to hold back tears. "Very positive, wonderful...just a happy soul. This was very tragic."
At their modest Bridgeport home Thursday, Gonzalez's wife of more than 30 years and his stepson told NBC 4 New York that he was a kind, loyal man who had been with the same company for 33 years.
"He was such a great man. Very humble. Hard worker," said wife Elena Gonzalez as she began crying. "Good with the family, he always was the supporter of the whole family in Puerto Rico."
"He'd open his house to anyone," said his stepson Rogelio Aponte. "He'd take the shirt off his back, he'd offer you anything. If he had it, you got it."
Gonzalez was planning to retire to his native Puerto Rico in the next two years.
The doorman's union, Local 32BJ of the Service Employees International Union, said he had worked at the building for many years.
"Our thoughts and prayers also go out to all members working hard to keep us safe during this blizzard and every day," Hector Figueroa, president of the local, said in a statement.
The doorman's death was one of the first related to the storm, which dropped nearly a foot of snow across much of the tri-state region and paralyzed transit and infrastructure.
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