When Sandy barreled down on New York City, a hardworking Ghanaian immigrant from the Bronx died while at work at a TriBeCa parking garage, and now his family members want questions answered as they prepare for his funeral. Bronx Borough reporter Erin Clarke filed the following report.
Fifty-eight year old Ghanaian immigrant Anthony Narh spent his final moments in a TriBeCa parking garage just a block from the East River, where he worked as an attendant. As the river flooded the garage, he took refuge in an SUV and drowned.
"I was just wondering why the boss would call him on that particular day when so many people have been told not to go to work," said Beverly Bartels, Narh’s wife. "I'm just wondering what special duties he had to perform that day for him to go and lose his life like that."
Bartels came to New York from Ghana to prepare for her husband’s funeral. The father of three young daughters was also an officer in the Ghanaian military and a United Nations peacekeeper.
"He traveled a lot. He went to Lebanon, Cambodia, Liberia. He went to a lot of places, United Nations operations," said Richard Ampomah, Narh’s friend.
Narh arrived in New York in 2003 and settled in the Concourse section of the Bronx. He spent much of his spare time chatting with his fellow countrymen at an African market on Sheridan Avenue. They were some of the last people to see him before he died.
"I said, 'Tony where are you going?' He said 'I'm going to work.' I said, 'No. They said everybody should leave.' He said that he had been called to go to work," said Nana Agyemang, a friend of Narh’s.
According to friends, Narh's manager, a man named Mike, told him the company would pay for a taxi for him.
Friends said they spoke to a manager named Mike, who told them it was another attendant who called Narh in early.
The Empire Parking Garage is owned by Park Right. A manager there, who identified himself as Wilfred, said the company had no comment.
Friends and family said they want Park Right to be held accountable.
"You guys should really do something now to help the wife and the kids," said Agyemang. "Because as of now, the kids are in school, who's going to pay the fees for the kids? It's very sad."
Police are still investigating Narh's death, although no criminality is suspected.
Narh's friends believe company records will show who is responsible.