Engaged mother of two struck, killed by falling gargoyle

A woman was walking to lunch with her fiancé on Thursday when she was fatally struck by a piece of falling debris from a historic south Chicago church. 

Sara Bean was waiting with her boyfriend at the corner of Michigan Ave and Cullerton Street when a stone piece fell off the Second Presbyterian Church’s tower, clipping a gargoyle’s head on the way down three stories.

The 34-year-old mother was hit in the head with one of the falling objects, at the church just across the street from her house.

Witness Broderick Adams told WLS that the stone split open Bean’s head from front to back. He knew then that she couldn’t be saved.

‘The guy [her fiancé] was screaming hysterically, so I was basically trying to get to him and calm him down a little bit because I knew I couldn’t do much for her,’ Adams said.

Bean was rushed to the hospital where she was later pronounced dead. She leaves behind two sons, ages 10 and 14, and her fiancé who she was set to marry later this year.

Her brother Michael Willis has vowed to find how the freak accident happened.

‘I’m trying to find answers why. Why did this happen?’ Willis told DNAinfo. ‘I know this could have been prevented…It could have happened to if not my sister, somebody else.’

The Second Presbyterian Church is inspected every year, and has passed the inspections in recent years.

However, in 2011, the 140-year-old building was cited for a violation that was later overturned.

The church built in 1847 was made a landmark last year.

Rev Robert C Reynolds, executive Presbyter of the Presbytery of Chicago, issued a statement of apology today to Bean’s family.

‘We’re devastated by the death of this woman and the fact that it is a function of some of the masonry at the Second Presbyterian Church,’ he said. ‘My prayers go out to that woman and her family.’

More at The DailyMail Online.

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