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Beloved Doorman Slips While Shoveling, Dies After Falling Through Plate Glass Window

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A 59-year-old man died while shoveling snow on the Upper East Side Thursday morning, authorities say.

Authorities told CBS2 Miguel Gonzalez, was shoveling in front of a building on East 93rd Street, where he's worked as a doorman for 30 years, when he slipped and crashed through a plate glass window around 9:30 a.m.

"He's shoveling the snow, he slips and falls through the glass window," one man told WCBS 880's Myles Miller.

Gonzalez was taken to Metropolitan Hospital with injuries to his neck and face, authorities said. He was later pronounced dead. 

His wife, Elena, told CBS2's Jessica Layton he left their home in Bridgeport, Connecticut a little early to beat the bad weather, making it safely to work before his tragic accident.

"There's no words to describe how good he was," she said.

Residents offered heart-wrenching responses after hearing their beloved doorman had been killed in what many have called a freak accident.

"Oh my god, we loved him. He was so kind, he was like our best doorman. This is terrible," one resident told CBS2's Reagan Medgie.

Thursday night, a board replaced the shattered glass and there were flowers and candles inside the building Gonzalez considered his second home. Meanwhile, friends shared memories of a man who treated children from church like his own grandkids.

"So happy, everybody loved him," one man said.

"Now he's gone, and I can't believe it," a woman said. 

"This morning I heard, hey, hey, I was out of it, it felt like a dream. I woke up and just now I'm realizing what that scream was. It sounded like someone calling for help," Ronnie Mosimann said.

Mosimann believes the shouts for help came from someone finding Gonzalez severelyinjured, after slipping down the stairwell.

Denice Rich lives nearby and got to know Gonzalez while she walked her dog.

"You couldn't meet a sweeter person. He was so happy and positive," she said.

For many others on the block they said Gonzalez was like a member of their family.

"It's another reminder for people to be very careful when you're shoveling," Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo expressed his condolences on Twitter.

"My heart goes out to the family of doorman Miguel Gonzalez who died shoveling this morning. Thanks to all working today to keep NY'ers safe," Cuomo wrote.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife and children and all those who knew and care about him, including his coworkers and the residents of his building," 32BJ SEIU President Hector Figueroa said. "Our union family will do all we can to support Miguel's family in this difficult time."

Friends of the man said he had recently sold his home in Connecticut and was planning to retire to Puerto Rico next year.

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