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article imageSan Francisco window washer survives 11-story fall

By Amanda Byas     Nov 21, 2014 in World
The first sign something was wrong was when office workers walking along Montgomery Street looked up to see a blur falling from the sky.
Some people thought it was debris – but as it got closer, the crowd scattered and screamed. It was a window washer, falling from 11 stories toward them.
With a loud bang and glass shattering, the middle-aged man fell onto a moving vehicle little after 10 a.m. Friday, November 21st. He laid grimacing and astonishingly alive on the roof of a green Toyota Camry, witnesses said, and then he rolled off onto the sidewalk below.
Retired Army Col. Sam Hartwell and other pedestrians – including the driver of the green Toyota Camry – immediately started helping the fallen man. In seconds, they called 911, set up detours and stood around the man, some crouching down to tell him to hold on, hoping he could survive until help arrived.
Within a short few minutes of calling 911, paramedics and firefighters were on the scene near the intersection of California Street, and the man was quickly on his way to San Francisco General Hospital – alive, though with life-threatening injuries.
It was found out that the window washer was with a coworker and had slipped from the roof while they prepared their cleaning platform for use, according to the police.
State workplace safety inspectors are reviewing the accident, and it will be a few months before they decide about whether Century Window Cleaning of Concord, the firm responsible for the job, is at fault. Friday, company officials did not respond to calls for comments.
A spokesman with the California Department of Industrial Relations said, “He was one lucky man to survive that fall. It seems pretty clear the cushioning of the car he fell onto kept him alive.”
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