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By Stefano Esposito
The Chicago Sun-Times

CHICAGO - When the facade began to give way, Rogelio Rodriguez did what came naturally to him -- he reached for the woman in front of him and shoved her away from the falling debris.
A split second later, thick slabs of concrete fell on top of Rodriguez, crushing his spine.
"He was lying there and there was a pool of blood around him -- it looked like a halo of blood," said his wife, Amelia Rodriguez.
Rogelio Rodriguez was in the intensive care unit at Stroger Hospital Tuesday, his 33rd birthday. Amelia Rodriguez said doctors have told her husband he will never walk again after the Aug. 15 incident in the Heart of Chicago neighborhood.
It wasn't clear what caused the accident, but neighbors described a loud bang as several concrete slabs came loose from the exterior wall of a branch of Chase Bank and fell onto the sidewalk.
"It sounded like an explosion," said Mohd Dannoun, a manager at a nearby store. "I thought some gang-bangers had a bazooka."
Some people working in the area at the time said a semi-truck rumbled by just moments before the slabs fell.
Tom Kelly, a spokesman for Chase Bank, said his company has been working with the Rodriguez family.
"It's an unfortunate situation," Kelly said Tuesday. "This last week, we've been talking to our insurance carriers and to the family's attorney, and we hope to reach a solution."
Rogelio Rodriguez -- a security guard -- was walking home at the time of the accident, about 8:30 p.m. He's told his wife that he remembers little about the accident. He saw rubble tumble down from the wall, and then he pushed the woman pedestrian out of the way, Amelia Rodriguez said.
Amelia Rodriguez said it doesn't surprise her that her husband would try to save someone else's life instead of his own.
"That's just the type of person he is," said Amelia Rodriguez, who has been married to her husband for 2½ years. "He's a very good person. He'll do anything to help anybody."
Amelia Rodriguez said she is devastated by the incident, and she doesn't know how the couple will make ends meet.
"Mr. Rodriguez was walking down a city sidewalk next to a building that was not under construction, that had no warning signs that debris could fall from it, and was crushed by slabs of granite that fell from the building," said David P. Buchanan, who represents the Rodriguez family. "As a pedestrian on the sidewalk, he should be free from worry that buildings are going fall and cause serious injury."

Wire Service

Premium Member
5,852 Posts
This totally sucks for the security guard but the last statement from his lawyer is like a "no shit". Of course someone walking down the sidewalk expects to not have shit fall on him, asswipe ambulance chaser.
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