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Death Of Man Who Fell From DTLA Construction Site Investigated As Suicide

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The man who fell from the 53rd floor of downtown's under-construction Wilshire Grand tower on Thursday was an electrician only on the second day of his job. His death is being investigated as a possible suicide.

On Thursday, coroner's officials identified the man as 36-year-old Joseph Sabbatino of Palmdale. In previous reports, Cal/OSHA officials determined that he was an electrician with Irvine-based ASSI Security. A corner's official told the Daily News that his death was being treated as a possible suicide.

Turner Construction, the company managing the site, said in a statement Thursday evening that the fall was "not work-related" and that Cal/OSHA determined "no fall-protection violations were observed." Turner Construction officials told the L.A. Times that Sabbtino "had no reason to be above the third floor."

Turner shut down the site on Friday "to honor our workforce and out of respect," they said in a statement.

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Sabbatino landed on Wilshire Boulevard, where he struck the rear portion of a passing car. The woman driving the car was shaken by the incident, but otherwise unharmed. Authorities closed off the streets around the construction site during the afternoon and set up a white tent in the middle of Wilshire Boulevard, next to the idle car and covering Sabbatino's body from view.

Witnesses told the Times that Sabbatino's body did not appear to be wearing a safety harness, nor was a hard hat found near where he landed. The 53rd floor is below the floors where nets have been installed to catch falling objects, and the floor itself has an 8-foot barrier to keep workers and objects from falling over.

When completed next year, the Wilshire Grand will be the tallest building on the West Coast. Just last week, crews celebrated its "topping out."

If someone you know exhibits warning signs of suicide: do not leave the person alone, remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs or sharp objects that could be used in a suicide attempt, and call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional.