Gary Anderson, 58, of Somerdale, was delivering drywall to the downtown construction site about 8:40 a.m. when the tape measure fell off the belt of a worker on the top of the building, said Carly Baldwin, Jersey City public safety spokeswoman.
The tape measure "hit another piece of metal construction equipment 15 feet off the ground, then ricocheted and hit this man in the head," Baldwin said.
Anderson was not wearing a hard hat but had one inside his truck, which was parked on the construction site, where two residential towers are being built, Baldwin said.
He had stopped to lean into the open window of a vehicle to speak to someone. When he pulled his head out of the window, he was struck by the tape measure and collapsed.
Anderson was rushed to Jersey City Medical Center-Barnabas Health, where he went into cardiac arrest. He was pronounced dead at 9:52 a.m.
Baldwin said an official cause of death had not been released.
A woman answering the phone at Anderson's home said the family did not want to speak to reporters.
"Upon preliminary investigation, it appears to be a very tragic accident," Public Safety Director James Shea said in a statement.
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration responded to the scene and conducted interviews, Baldwin said.
Anderson worked for National Gypsum, a North Carolina company, according to police.
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