WEST VILLAGE — A Manhattan realtor, looking forward to her July wedding, was killed Tuesday evening when a piece of plywood flew off of the construction site of a luxury development on Seventh Avenue South and struck her, police said.
Tram-Thuy Nguyen, 37, a broker with Keller Williams NYC, was talking on her cellphone while walking east on West 12th Street when sources said blustery winds ripped the plywood from security fencing around the construction site at The Greenwich Lane, the massive five-building luxury condo development being built where St. Vincent's Hospital used to be.
The plywood hit Nguyen, who friends knew as Tina, in the head, knocking her into a nearby brick wall, sources said.
Emergency medical personnel responded to a 911 call about 5:50 p.m. and discovered Nguyen in front of 175 West 12th St., according to police and the FDNY.
Nguyen had lacerations to her head, and bruising and contusions all over her body, the officials said.
She was taken to Bellevue Hospital and pronounced dead about 9:15 p.m., police said.
"The proximity of this construction site to 800 elementary students at a local public school on the block and thousands of residents and workers in the area makes this a matter of the utmost importance," said State Sen. Brad Holyman in a statement.
He added that he was "angry and sickened" by the woman's death and was grateful the Department of Buildings issued a stop work order on the site.
Nguyen's fiancé, Alejandro Beitler, who lived with her on West 4th Street, was too upset to speak, but released a statement reading the freak accident.
"She always saw the best in everyone," he said. "She was always reminding me to see the same. We were together for 5 of the best years of our lives. We planned to be married in July of this year. The family and I have decided to bury her in Philadelphia. This is the most devastating loss. She was the woman of my dreams. I hope people will remember her by seeing the best in one another and treating each other with true kindness."
On Wednesday, the construction site was given a violation for failure to safeguard property by the DOB.
“It is the responsibility of building owners and construction site managers to ensure their properties are safeguarded and in code compliant conditions at all times. A failure to do so can result in enforcement action by the department including the issuance of violations," Alex Schnell, a spokesman for the DOB, said.
"We are deeply saddened by the death of a pedestrian who was walking near the construction site on West 12th Street. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family during this very difficult time," said Chris McFadden, a spokesman for the construction company, Turner Construction.
McFadden said the company is "conducting an investigation into the circumstances of the incident" and "cooperating with investigations by the Department of Buildings and other agencies looking into this incident."
"Safety on and around our jobsites is always our number one priority," McFadden said.
"What happened is tragic and devastating. We extend our deepest condolences to the family," said Bill and Eric Rudin, the developers of The Greenwich Line, in a statement.
The building has had numerous complaints and violations, including a stop work order and a $1,600 fine in 2013 because the scaffolding created a "deadly danger for workers [and] public," according to DOB records.