Restaurateur's Son Dies in 'Tragic Accident' at Madison Square Garden After Reportedly Falling from Escalator

Ernest Vogliano Jr., whose father owned N.Y.C.'s Il Vagabondo for 50 years, was pronounced dead after being transported to a local hospital on Saturday night, according to officials

Ernest Vogliano
Ernest Vogliano Jr. Photo: Facebook

The son of a New York City restaurateur died over the weekend after a "tragic accident" following a hockey game at Madison Square Garden.

On Saturday night around 10:40 p.m., police responded to a 911 call "of an injured person inside" the arena, an NYPD spokesperson told PEOPLE.

"Upon arrival, officers observed a 61-year-old male unconscious and unresponsive with severe head trauma," the spokesperson said.

The man, whom they identified as Ernest Vogliano Jr., of North Salem, N.Y., was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead, police said.

The New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner tells PEOPLE his cause of death was "multiple blunt trauma" and that the manner of death was accidental.

The New York Post reported that the death was the result of a "freak escalator fall," citing sources.

"A fan at this past Saturday's Rangers game was injured in a tragic accident while he was exiting the venue and was immediately transported to a local hospital where he passed away," MSG Entertainment, which operates Manhattan's Madison Square Garden, said in a statement to PEOPLE. "Our deepest and heartfelt condolences go out to his loved ones."

When contacted by PEOPLE, an attorney representing the Vogliano family said he had no further comment and was awaiting a response from MSG's general counsel.

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Vogliano is survived by his mother, two siblings, his wife, Lesa, and two children, according to his obituary.

"Ernest was a friend to many; he loved life and will be remembered for his wide range of interests, from world travel and adventure to horses, beekeeping, skiing, and hockey," the obituary read. "He was passionate about giving back to the community and took great pride in being a volunteer firefighter in Bedford, NY."

In addition to being the son of late restaurateur Ernest Vogliano Sr. — who owned N.Y.C.'s Il Vagabondo for 50 years — Vogliano was also "a talented and creative graphic designer."

According to his obituary, he founded N.Y.-based web design firm Monster Productions as well as the magazine Aspen Aces & Eights.

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