The Brooklyn Heights community is coming together to raise funds for the family of a deceased construction worker, who tragically fell to his death on Feb. 11 in the neighborhood.
Angel Pilataxi was working at a construction site at 124 Columbia Heights when he fell to his death from the roof of the 10 story building at around 10:20 am, according to the Department of Buildings.
An Ecuadorian immigrant, Pilataxi has helped raise three children, along with three step children, who now range in age from 12 to 33.
After the tragic incident, local Councilmember Lincoln Restler, along with the Worker Justice Project, launched a GoFundMe on Feb. 15, with a goal of raising $20,000 to support Pilataxi’s family.
“Their family is without their primary breadwinner and their loving father,” reads the fundraising page. “Please give what you can to help Angel’s family cover funeral expenses and stabilize after this unexpected loss.”
“My heart goes out to the loved ones of the deceased,” Restler said after Pilataxi’s death. “Like this tragedy, these avoidable deaths often include Latino workers at non-union construction sites. Our office will work to ensure there is a rigorous investigation into what led to this death. If there was negligence, we will demand accountability.”
The Worker Justice Project is a nonprofit organization that helps fight for better working place conditions for low-wage workers, many of whom are immigrants like Pilataxi.
Within hours of launching, the GoFundMe had raised nearly $1,000, and saw an outpouring of support from over a dozen donors.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, falls from high places is the most common cause of death among active construction workers, and accounted for 401 of the 991 construction fatalities recorded in 2019, when the most recent data is available.
Those who would like to donate to the fundraiser benefiting Angel Pilataxi’s family can do so here.
Additional reporting by Kirstyn Brendlen