Tearful husband says goodbye to Montrealer killed by falling concrete

A tearful, wounded husband said good-bye on Tuesday to his 33-year-old wife, who died last week after she was hit by a falling concrete slab on Peel Street.

A tearful, wounded husband said goodbye Tuesday to his 33-year-old wife, who died last week after she was hit by a falling concrete slab on Peel Street in downtown Montreal.   

Hani Beitinjaneh, 33, sobbed as he eulogized his wife, Léa Guilbeault, in front of about 200 mourners at Ste-Thérèse-de-L'Enfant Jésus Church on Saint-Hubert Street in Montreal.

"I would like to thank everyone for being with us through this period," Beitinjaneh said. "She loved everyone and wanted to take care of everyone.... Léa, I will always miss you.... An angel is what she is to me."

Last Thursday, a concrete slab fell from the Marriott Residence Inn, crashed through the glass roof of the Mikasa Sushi bar on Peel Street and landed on Guilbeault. Guilbeault died instantly; Beitinjaneh was taken to hospital and treated for serious wounds to his hand.

At the church Tuesday, Beitinjaneh had casts on his right arm and foot and was in a wheelchair. Several men helped carry Beitinjaneh up the steps of the church in the wheelchair.

Peel Street remains closed

Meanwhile, Peel Street remained closed to vehicles Tuesday between de Maisonneuve Boulevard and Sherbrooke Street.

Jean-François Sonier, spokesperson for Montreal's Ville Marie borough, said city engineers have completed their report, which will be made available to the public by Thursday.

It says the owner of the building, Wilmington Trust Co., must secure the structure's entire facade before the street is reopened to traffic. This would require that hundreds of decorative concrete panels be inspected and possibly repaired.

Sonier said the borough is still waiting to see Wilmington Trust's own engineering report. The Marriott hotel rents the building from Wilmington, and Sonier said the owner’s report will have to prove the building is safe.

Once completed, the owner’s report, along with the city’s engineering report, will be transferred to the Régie du bâtiment du Québec — the authority set up to ensure the proper construction of buildings in the province — for review.