PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Neighbors and co-workers are devastated after a man fell from the roof of a duplex Friday morning in Hazelwood and died from severe head injuries.

Officials have identified the victim as 57-year-old Joseph McCutcheon Jr. He was a roofer from Westmoreland County.

McCutcheon had picked up keys to the side-by-side duplex, which is under major renovation, early Friday. The building is on Imogene Road just off Brown’s Hill.

Flashings on the steeply-pitched Dutch hip roof needed attention.

Then, 911 dispatchers got the call at 10:42 a.m.

“The weather conditions were not the best, and at some point, somehow – which we’re still trying to determine how – he fell off the roof and sustained a fatal head injury,” said Sonya Toler, Pittsburgh Police spokeswoman.

The 57-year-old seasoned sub-contractor, who is from Greensburg, fell two-and-a-half stories, landing on a back deck.

Mike Vento, the project’s general contractor who was called to the scene, sat stunned and shaken.

“Just an endearing guy, known him for years,” said Vento. “I know his wife and he has two sons, and I know his son-in-law who worked with him from being on the job site.”

But the roofer was working alone this time.

Neighbors say the work on the property has been going on for more than two years. There is a “For Sale” sign in front. It’s owned by a Squirrel Hill architect.

Liliana Kelly lives just across the way.

“Anybody passing away breaks my heart,” she said.

And, it is less than a week before Christmas.

“The Christmas holiday is a time that certainly raises sensitivity around these issues, but I think that any time of the year that an accident like this would happen, it would be terribly tragic,” said Toler.

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