David Wichs, 38, was instantly killed after a giant crane collapsed onto Worth Street on Friday morning. Wichs, a Harvard grad and computer trader from Prague, was crushed to death by 330 tons of steel, according to reports. He was only a five minute stroll from his Tribeca office.
One man was seriously injured and two others were hurt by debris after the crane’s arm feel, officials said. Thomas O’Brien, 73, of Easton was sitting in the driver’s seat of his parked car when the crane fell on top of him. He was trapped beneath the crane. First responders were able to pry open his door and pull him out. Fortunately, he only sustained a head wound and is expected to survive.
Dawn Kojima, 45, was also injured when she struck in the head and leg by falling debris. Another bystander, who has not been identified, sustained minor injuries. Kojima, O’Brien and the bystander were taken to local hospitals.
The accident occurred when construction crews were attempting to lower the crane’s boom in order to secure it. However, the construction crews were too late when heavy winds and snow sent the crane crashing down.
Numerous city agencies were still investigating the cause of the collapse. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered all 376 crawler cranes operating around the city to be secured.
The crane’s operator, Kevin Reilly, 56, of Port Jefferson, was cooperating with police in the investigation. He took a Breathalyzer test, but tested negative for alcohol, according to reports.
A crane accident can leave people with serious injuries. Those injuries may require hospitalization and surgery. Workers may not be able to return to work for a significant amount of time. Sadly, injuries sustained in a crane accident may even prove to be fatal.
Construction workers in New York City who suffer injuries on the job may be able to obtain workers’ compensation benefits. However, if injuries were caused by a third party, victims may obtain compensation through a lawsuit.
Duane Morgan, Glenn Dolan and Jared Levine of Morgan Levine Dolan are currently fighting for the rights of construction workers in New York City on more than 250 cases. Many of these cases involve union construction workers injured from objects falling from scaffolds, ladders and cranes. Many of these injured union members are unaable to return to work due to their injuries. We have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a crane collapse, contact Jared Levine of Morgan Levine Dolan at 212-785-5115.