Sara Bean, 34, was walking back from lunch with her fiancé in Chicago's South Loop when a gust of wind blew past them, setting off a tragic sequence of events that ended with part of a stone gargoyle on the outer wall of the Second Presbyterian Church breaking off and striking Bean on the head. She died almost instantly, the Chicago Tribune reports.
A spokeswoman for the city's Building Department says a chain reaction was to blame for the falling stone. A corner of one of the metal decorative pieces on the exterior of the building gave way, striking a gargoyle statue on the southeast corner of the steeple and causing a portion of it to fall. The church is more than 100 years old.
"I felt like something happened. I looked back and she was on the ground," Bean's fiancé Lance Johnson told CBS Chicago. Broderick Adams, who watched the whole thing from his fifth-floor apartment across the street from the church told the Chicago Tribune, "I saw that crack on her head and thought, 'She's definitely dead.'" Bean and Johnson have two children and were planning to get married later this year.
According to DNAinfo Chicago, the church has been cited multiple times for building violations and among the violations, ABC Chicago reports, "were failing to maintain the exterior walls." The church did pass inspections in 2012 and 2013, however.