A prominent New York City architect was killed Tuesday after she was struck by debris that fell from a building that had previously been fined for having an unsafe façade.
Erica Tishman, 60, suffered a fatal head injury just after 10:45 a.m. as she walked through Midtown Manhattan, near the corner of 49th Street and Seventh Avenue, a spokesperson for the New York City Police Department told PEOPLE.
Responding officers found Tishman unconscious and unresponsive on the sidewalk, and she was pronounced dead shortly after by emergency medical services.
“I just saw them working to try to revive her. It’s pretty horrific,” witness Raphael Roston told the New York Daily News. “We all work right over here. Could have happened to anyone. It’s very scary.”
Tishman was a vice president at Zubatkin Owner Representation LLC, a project management company in the city whose offices are located about a nine minute walk from where she was struck, according to the company’s website.
Her company biography lists her as a graduate of both the Harvard Graduate School of Design and Princeton University, and according to The New York Times, she was a married mother of three. Tishman was also a member of the Board of Trustees of Central Synagogue in Manhattan, her company biography said.
New York City Department of Buildings spokeswoman Abigail Kunitz said in a statement to PEOPLE that department engineers were on the scene to perform a full inspection of the building and conduct an investigation into the “tragic” accident.
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“This is a tragedy, and the family and friends of the victim are in our thoughts,” the statement read. “No pedestrian should be at risk from dangerous façade conditions.”
The 17-story office building from which the debris fell had been fined by the city in April for having an unsafe façade, the Times reported.
The century-old building reportedly got approval to start masonry work to fix its façade in November.
A spokesperson for Himmel + Meringoff Properties, which owns the building, told PEOPLE in a statement it would cooperate entirely with any ongoing investigations.
“We are saddened by this tragedy and our hearts go out to the family. The company will fully cooperate with the City in the ongoing matter,” the statement read.