BELLINGHAM - A veteran window washer was rushed to St. Joseph hospital after he fell through a second-story glass awning and hit his head on the sidewalk below Tuesday afternoon, Sept. 11.
Bruce Sherman, who has washed windows for more than three decades, was breathing on his own and talking after the 10-foot fall at 12:20 p.m. left him bleeding from his head.
He had been cleaning an awning that juts out above an entrance at 2211 Rimland Drive. Sherman and his son climbed up onto the awning on a ladder and were kneeling when they started scrubbing the dirty glass.
Pete Redpath, who was eating lunch in the building's lobby with his girlfriend, heard one of the glass panels shatter soon afterward.
"They couldn't have been up there five minutes," Redpath said.
An employee at Group Health Cooperative brought out a first aid kit and tried to slow Sherman's bleeding - moving him as little as possible while an ambulance was en route.
Sherman, who is in his 60s, owns Brite Way Window Service. He's been contracted to work at the building since Barkley Village was finished.
In a Bellingham Business Journal feature printed in 2008, Sherman recounted a two-and-a-half-story fall he had in the early days of his work as a window washer, when he set his ladder on a bed of beauty bark. He walked away from the fall because he landed on the bark. The profile described him as a chipper entrepreneur who invented his own anchoring system for his high-wire work.
Redpath said he didn't see any boards or other safety measures in place on the awning Tuesday when the accident happened. Sherman's son didn't fall.
Sherman remained hospitalized in serious condition Tuesday evening.
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