An ordinary morning turned into horror for Tribeca residents and commuters. We continue to update you on the Tribeca crane collapse.
David Wichs has been identified by The New York Daily News as the victim who was killed in the deadly Tribeca crane collapse that took place early Friday morning. Wichs was the lone fatality in the tragedy. Other victims include 45 year-old Dawn Kojima and 73 year old Thomas O’Brien.
The crane accident, widely covered by local media, involved a crawler crane owned and operated by a company called Bay Crane. Bay Crane is no stranger to large scale crane operations and is notorious for being at the helm during a recent and very serious crane accident in Manhattan which took place in 2015.
This morning the crane crashed into a row of parked cars after capsizing onto Worth Street, near Church Street. Crane accidents in congested urban areas always have far reaching consequences. There are fewer areas in the world more congested than the downtown section of Manhattan. Given the size of cranes, when they collapse, potential casualties obviously include innocent people but also commercial buildings, homes and cars.
Investigators are looking at causes of the accident, focusing on what role, if any, heavy downtown winds played in triggering the more than 575 foot boom to topple. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, during a post-accident press conference, stated that safety officials at the site made a decision before the accident to dismantle portions of the boom from the enormous crane because of the escalating winds. Some construction workers were clearing the sidewalks to make sure no pedestrians were in harm’s way as they were attempting to reduce the risk posed by this deadly machine. Tragically, they were not able to prevent the accident from occurring in time. In an attempt to find a silver lining in all of this, the efforts of the construction workers prior to the accident appear to have significantly reduced the number of victims.
Family members, loved ones and neighbors are mourning the sudden and senseless loss of Mr. Wichs. Wichs, a resident of the upper westside, was reportedly an unsuspecting pedestrian who was struck by the massive boom. He came to the United States after being born in Prague. He earned a degree in mathematics from Harvard College and he was working as a trader at a downtown office. Our thoughts remain with those who loved him.
O’Brien, meanwhile, was sitting in his car waiting for his daughter. Kojima was apparently struck by falling debris while waiting for a cup of coffee. We wish them and all of the other victims a fast recovery.
We, at Block O’Toole & Murphy, will continue to provide details of the investigation as they emerge.