ROXBURY, NJ -- A construction worker at the site of the new Shops at Ledgewood Commons in Roxbury was flown off the site in a medical helicopter today after he fell through a hole in a roof.

The man, identified by colleagues at the scene as Jesus Garcia of New York City, sustained serious injuries but was alive when emergency medical personnel arrived at the scene, said fellow workers.

The incident took place at about 1:09 p.m., according to Roxbury Police Spokesman Jennifer Dillard, who said police were told the victim was in "cardiac arrest" after the fall.

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Garcia, who works for Precise Services Corp., fell through a hole in the roof of a building, said his co-workers. Dillard, who could not confirm the man's identity, said he fell about 30 feet and suffered "major trauma." Garcia is in his mid-30s, said his colleagues.

The workers at the site said Garcia was lifting a piece of metal on the roof and accidentally stepped into the two-foot by three-foot square hole left there when an old air conditioning unit was removed.

The workers said Garcia was working with another man who - unlike Garcia - was wearing a safety harness. Had Garcia been wearing such a harness, the device likely would have prevented him from falling to the ground, they said.

Dillard said police contacted the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which will help investigate the circumstances of Garcia's fall.

All work stopped at the scene after the incident. Roxbury police were gathering information and interviewing witnesses. The incident took place while police were busy dealing with traffic issues caused by a power outage that was affecting large parts of Roxbury, including some traffic signals.

Precise Services is removing elements of the former Ledgewood Mall as the site is being converted into the Shops at Ledgewood Commons. 


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