Family remembers man killed by falling bricks during windstorm in Parc Ex
MONTREAL - A family is mourning after a beloved father and husband was killed by falling bricks in Parc-Extension during a windstorm.
On Friday, Nov. 1, bricks dislodged by strong winds hit Hanri Sabbagh as he waited for his daughter to pick him up.
The shower of masonry left him gravely injured. First responders found him conscious and rushed him to hospital, a fire department spokesperson said immediately after the incident. He died later.
Sabbagh lived through war and hardship. He survived capture by ISIS in 2013. He came to Montreal with his family from Aleppo, Syria, after a civil war made it too dangerous for him to work.
After everything he lived through, the seemingly random accident that caused his death shook his family.
"To escape war," said Rima Bidan, Sabbagh's widow. "To escape whatever hardships in our countries and come to a better life ... and die in a way as if a bomb fell down. ... "
Warm and resilient, he was a shining light to those around him, his family said. He was kind, gentle and supportive. He also embraced Quebec culture and applied himself to learning French.
His death sparked an outpouring of support from friends and colleagues.
His family will remember the man they loved. It's agony to lose someone so suddenly, his wife said.
"Sadness, I know, it will stay with us, and life goes on. It says with us," Bidan said. "We will go on. We will study, we will be happy, [our children] will have their lives and everything with this feeling of sadness. But anger and pain we can't overcome."
She hopes someone is found responsible for the falling bricks. For now, the city has set up a perimeter around the area.
With files from CTV Montreal's Matt Gilmour