A window washer who survived an 11-story fall onto a car in downtown San Francisco has finally been released from the hospital in time for Christmas, family and healthcare officials said Monday.
Marciela Perez, wife of the man who fell, Pedro Perez, told reporters that her husband will require months of rehabilitation after suffering "extensive" brain injury but that he has "improved a lot," according to NBC4.
After nearly a month in San Francisco General Hospital, Perez, 58, was released on Friday in fair condition, a hospital spokeswoman said.
The accident occurred about 10 a.m. Nov. 21 in the city's Financial District. The back of the car where Perez landed was smashed in, but the driver was not injured, police said. Perez fell more than 120 feet.
"As a wife, it is very meaningful for me to have my husband for Christmas festivities," Marciela Perez told reporters at a press conference Monday. "He is my support."
Pedro Perez suffered brain trauma, several broken bones and a ruptured artery in his right arm, his wife told reporters. It's unclear if he'll ever walk again but his memory is returning and he can now identify relatives by name, his wife said. Perez will be recovering for three or four months in a Pleasanton facility, according to NBC4.
The driver of the car Perez landed on, Mohammad Alcozai, told KGO-TV that he was happy to be alive and praying that Perez survived.
He said the impact came shortly after he made a left turn, adding that his car's roof almost completely collapsed in the accident.
Maa-Becca Tucker was walking past the crash when she saw the worker lying on the ground. She said he wasn't moving.
Tucker described the scene as "crazy" and said a woman standing next to her was praying for the man as firefighters took him away in an ambulance.
Some witnesses said the man had been clinging to a rope, which could be seen dangling from the roof of the building.
Perez works for Century Window Cleaning, based in Concord, Calif., said Peter Melton, a spokesman for the state division of occupational safety and health.
The company was cited for one serious violation and three other violations in 2008, one of them related to instructing window-cleaning employees in the proper use of all equipment provided to them and supervising the use of the equipment and safety devices to ensure safe working practices, according to federal records.
The company was fined more than $6,500, though the fine was eventually reduced to just over $2,700.