According to North Bergen Det. Joseph Gener, Thomas McTague, a married father of two young children, was a metal worker for Blue Ridge Construction, which is currently constructing the Insignia Gardens housing development at the site of the old Sier-Bath gear factory.
Last Friday, around 10 a.m., McTague, an iron worker, was working alone on a high steel beam that was approximately 15 feet high. He was fastening rivets and bolts when witnesses said they saw McTague lose his footing and fall directly to the ground.
According to Gener, initial reports stated that McTague suffered many internal injuries as a result of the fall. He was rushed via ambulance to nearby Palisades Medical Center, and he died from the injuries at 10:52 a.m.
"The day was cold and windy," Gener said. "He was working alone on the beam. The ground below was hard, and that attributed to the injuries."
Rescue workers believe that McTague's tool belt might have also caused some injuries when he handed. "The tool belt could have also caused some problems for the victim," Gener said.
Big structure Insignia Gardens, at 9252 Kennedy Blvd., has been under construction since early 2005, and some of the development's town houses on the southern end of the complex have been occupied.
Nine two-family homes have been completed and are ready for occupancy.
McTague fell while helping to construct the project's the major structure, a 50,000 square foot building that will consist of 60 one and two-bedroom condominiums. The final piece of the project will include space around the bottom of the main structure, entailing 11,500 feet.
The development is being overseen by Hoboken-based real estate developer Casa Blanca Development, and is the group's largest product to date. Several of Casa Blanca's projects have been hot properties in Hoboken.
The two-family homes are three stories high and will have three bedrooms, four-car parking, and open areas. Gener said that the construction crew on the site that day was "a pretty skeleton crew."
"He was on the high beams by himself," Gener said. "I don't know the construction company's policy, but it would have been prudent to have some sort of rigging for a worker up that high. It's just an unfortunate accident. A hard-working guy who was trying to earn a living, a family man. It's just unfortunate."