Los Angeles coroner rules skyscraper plunge a suicide

AP News
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Posted: Mar 24, 2016 1:40 PM

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles County coroner has ruled suicide in the death of an electrician who fell 53 stories at the Wilshire Grand Center skyscraper construction site last week.

Joseph Sabbatino, 36, of Palmdale, was working his second day at the site when he plunged about 800 feet and landed on the back of a car at a busy intersection. The driver was not hurt.

The 53rd level had a barricade to prevent falls, and the company quickly issued a statement saying the incident was not work related.

Coroner's Lt. David Smith confirmed Thursday that the March 17 death was a suicide.

Sabbatino's father told KABC-TV that his son struggled with depression and had been prescribed medication.

The builder gave nearly 1,000 workers a day off after the incident.

It was the first major incident in three years of work on the downtown tower, which will top out at 73 stories or about 1,100 feet, making it the tallest building on the West Coast.