NEW YORK CITY — The Flatiron window washer who fell to his death Monday when the hook attached to his harness abruptly broke was a hardworking father who scrubbed glass across the city for more than three decades to support his family, his distraught son recalled.
Eduardo Monge, 56, was working on the 12th floor of 60 Madison Ave., near East 27th Street, Monday when his equipment gave way around 10:30 a.m., officials said. He plunged six stories to his death, police said.
“My dad worked his tail off in this country. He came here from Costa Rica in the '80s," Monge’s son, Jeff Monge, 19, told DNAinfo New York outside their Bronx apartment building Wednesday.
“Any time I was in Manhattan with him, he’d say, ‘I did this building, that building and that one.' He was always a hard worker and the best father. But besides a father, he was my best friend.”
The teen said he’d been traveling for a couple weeks but saw his dad the night before his death and bought him his favorite dessert.
“I bought him brevas con arequipe and gave him the biggest hug I ever gave,” he said. “I just told him I loved him. It was like I knew, but I didn’t know.”
Jeff Monge said he got a call from his mother Monday morning about the fall and raced in a cab to Bellevue Hospital.
“I searched online on the way and read a story that said my dad was dead,” he recalled. “I couldn’t believe it was happening. I just broke down. It was the longest cab ride ever.”
Eduardo Monge with his son Jeff. (Credit: Monge Family)
The son said he took a small measure of solace in the fact that medical personnel told him they thought his dad died on impact.
“I know from that height, he didn’t suffer,” he said. “He didn’t go through pain or agony or anything he shouldn’t have gone through.”
Eduardo Monge worked for Creative Window Cleaning, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Adminstration (OSHA), which is investigating the incident.
Creative Window Cleaning did not respond to a request for comment.
His funeral will be held Saturday at a church in Queens, his family said.
Jeff Monge said he’ll always remember his father’s passion for reading about world history and his love for his two cats.
But beyond that, he said his dad’s selfless sacrifices for his family will always stay with him.
“He left us too soon, but we’re carrying on,” he said of himself and his mother.
“I know my dad would’ve just wanted us to keep going.”