Update…NYC crane collapse leaves many in shock A 38-year-old man was killed this morning when a construction crane collapsed in Lower Manhattan while it was being lowered and secured due to the heavy wind and snow. Wichs had exited his car and was standing alongside it when the crane fell onto the street, crushing him. He is fondly remembered by his family and friends as a tireless worker, dedicated and determined to succeed. The NYC crane collapsed into a row of parked cars when it toppled over onto Worth Street near Church Street at about 8:30 a.m. this morning amid a fierce winter storm. The lone fatality of the crane collapse, identified by police just hours after the accident, was David Wichs, a resident of the Upper West Side on West 81st Street. Some of the first responders to the scene, police officers from the Seargeant’s Benevolent Association office across the street, found Wichs, crushed under the crane, beside his car. Wichs was born in Prague and immigrated to the U.S. as a teenager, eventually graduating with a degree in mathematics from Harvard University. After obtaining his degree, he worked in finance and, at the time of his death, worked at a trading firm, Tower Research Capital. Lisa Guttman, Wich’s sister-in-law, told The Associated Press her brother-in-law David Wichs was “the most brilliant person ever.” His neighbors expressed similar sentiments. “He was an angel, an absolute angel,” said a man leaving Wich’s 81st St. apartment.” “He was a wonderful, wonderful person. He was the best, the absolute best, and that’s what makes this tragedy that much greater,” said a man who identified himself to The Associated Press as the family’s rabbi. In a statement to the press, Mayor de Blasio said construction work was stopped on the building Thursday after operators decided to lower and secure the crane as a precaution against expected heavy winds. “No work was done this morning because the crew made the decision to bring the crane down to the secure position,” de Blasio said. He further added that the horrible crane accident could have been even more tragic. “Just before the accident happened, the crew was making sure people weren’t in the way,” he said. Crane accidents in New York result in over twenty percent of all fatalities in construction accidents. As is made clear by the tragic accident this morning, construction workers are not the only individuals that can be injured in crane accidents. Bystanders and pedestrians are also at serious risk. While technology for the cranes has improved, resulting in massive cranes with far greater capabilities, strict standards for crane operations are still required. If you’ve lost someone or been injured yourself as a result of a construction site accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Injuries and emotional trauma from construction accidents can last a lifetime. Call the Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff today at (212) 962-1020 to speak to a qualified construction crane accident attorney about your case. Our firm will guide you through your rights as the victim of a construction accident and the actions you can take to seek justice. Don’t delay in seeking the help you need.
The Law Offices of Michael Lamonsoff is already representing one victim of Sunday’s Midtown crane collapse after an air conditioning unit weighing several tons fell nearly 30 stories onto a busy Manhattan street. The firetruck-sized air conditioning unit was secured to a crane, which was delivering it to the top floor of 261 Madison Avenue, when a primary cable securing the unit to the crane snapped.
During the fall, the unit slammed into the building, showering glass, metal, and even office furniture onto the street below before ultimately crashing into the pavement. 2 workers and 8 passersby were reported injured from the incident, though none were reported to be in critical condition.
A tourist who witnessed the collapse told MSNBC, “It was like a train car fell off the side of the building. We heard a loud noise and then we saw it dislodge from the side of the building.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio issued a statement shortly after the collapse saying that it was fortunate that the accident happened during a time of minimal foot traffic in the area, which is primarily commercial and much more densely occupied during the week.
As of press time, the cause of the failed cable is still unknown, and may have been due to operator error or mechanical malfunction. The Department of Buildings has an ongoing investigation into the matter after approving the installation of a mobile crane at the site back on May 4th. As of Sunday’s incident, no open complaints or Environmental Control Board violations relating to safety issues were active for the construction site.
Commissioner of the NYC building department Rick Chandler told Newsday that, “The crane [appeared to be] in good working order. We do track all cranes around the city . . . we’ll be investigating that specific device as thoroughly as possible.”
The crane was cleared and removed from the site of the accident on Sunday, with major debris clearing operations underway to accommodate rush hour traffic for Monday morning.
The Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff is the premiere law firm in New York dealing with injuries relating to construction accidents. We are already in the process of investigating the accident on behalf of one of the victims of this crane collapse.
Our vetted construction accident attorneys have decades of experience representing the victims of hazardous construction sites and the injuries that can result when something goes wrong. If you have a case relating to an accident like Sunday’s Midtown crane collapse, give us a call for an absolutely free conversation about your options. We are available 24/7 at (212) 962-1020
A construction worker was killed today in a crane collapse in Mahattan’s Midtown. A mechanical failure on the hydraulic system of the crane caused the boom to collapse on the driver of the truck. 40-year-old Trevor Loftus was trapped between the boom and the truck and was declared dead on the scene by the FDNY. The boom crane was reportedly being moved by the truck at the time of the accident.
Reports say Loftus’ body was still on the sidewalk at the scene an hour after the collapse. He was reportedly clutching his cell phone in his hand.
A witness told the NY Daily News that “everybody went crazy. The working guys – they were trying to help him.”
The site of the construction accident is on 219 E 44th Street, between second and third avenues. The property is owned by Raber Enterprises on Canal Street and is being developed into the 35-story Even Hotel.
The FDNY responders used jacks to lift the boom off of the deceased construction worker, but were unable to revive him. FDNY Deputy Chief Joseph Carlsen said, “The hydraulics malfunctioned, and the victim was caught between the boom and the flatbed itself. We came on the scene, he was trapped in there.”
A stop work order has been issued for the site while the accident is investigated. Ironically, Mr. Loftus was a crane safety coordinator for Kenry Contracting of Yonkers, the company he owned.
The Law Offices of Michael S Lamonsoff have over 20 years of experience representing the families of construction workers killed in accidents like this one. If you’ve lost someone or been injured yourself on a construction site, you may be entitled to compensation. Injuries and emotional trauma from construction accidents can last a lifetime.
Call us today at (212) 962-1020 to speak to a qualified construction accident attorney about your case. Your free consultation will guide you through your rights as the victim of a construction accident and the actions you can take to seek justice. Don’t delay in seeking the help you need.
One worker was killed and two others were injured Monday (July 21) when a beam collapsed at a Fort Lauderdale construction site.
Cranes were made to assist in construction projects as a way to lift, lower, and move materials.
Cranes were not designed to claim the lives of construction workers. Following the standards on crane safety and inspections requirements must be strictly followed at all times.