A 22-year old woman was driving on Bedford Park Boulevard, when suddenly her car was smashed in half by a boom of hulking steel. It was all caught on tape when a crane toppled at a construction site yesterday morning.
The ongoing 11-story residential building construction in The Bronx had brought the usual array of heavy equipment to the neighborhood, including a 40-foot truck crane. While unloading heavy construction materials from another truck, the crane tilted sharply, causing the lifting arm to snap in half. The broken and hit the woman’s silver Ford. The lifting arm landed diagonally across the entire street, taking out a light pole and miraculously missing other traffic or pedestrians.
The windshield of the car was smashed, and the roof of the car was crushed under the weight of the fallen lifting arm. The woman was able to get out of the car and walked away from the scene with her life, suffering only a hand injury.
In the video, worried citizens rushed over to the decimated silver Ford to help. New York Daily News reported that Jerome Park shop owner Ali Algaheim, 33, said of the incident in its first moments. “I imagined a crushed person,” he said. “But she came right out. Thought I was going to see my first death.”
First responders arrived on the scene and took the victim to St. Barnabas Hospital for treatment of her wounds, and it was reported that she was in stable condition, suffering minor injuries to her hand.
The cause of the crane to fall is still under investigation. The New York City Buildings Department issued a summons to the building contractors, citing a failure to safeguard public property. All heavy material deliveries have been paused for the construction site. The building project was found to also lack proper permits and had experienced code violations in the past.
Truck cranes are mobile cranes that can provide on-site lifting and moving assistance in tight spots common to New York City construction. Toppled cranes and collapsed lifting arms are common crane accidents. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that between 2011 and 2015, about 44 people died in crane-related accidents in the U.S. each year. A crane that tilts over can cause extreme stress on the boom and lifting arm, causing the arm to snap and detach from the truck. A tilting crane can be caused by an overload of materials being lifted or unsteady ground.
It is the responsibility of the construction company to maintain a safe construction site. Construction sites with multiple code violations and failures to obtain permits are a blight on the city. Not only do they produce buildings with faults, but they often create extremely dangerous construction sites. A blatant disregard for safety procedures is often a hallmark of those construction projects that fail to work properly with the city to ensure that they are creating a safe building for those who will work and live in the area.
The New York crane accident injury lawyers at Block, O’Toole & Murphy have extensive experience in recovering compensation for those who have been injured in construction accidents involving heavy machinery. Crane accident injury results include a $15 million settlement for the family of a father of five who died when hoist chains from a crane broke, dropping a heavy chiller unit that pinned him against a wall. Our attorneys also recovered a settlement for $12 million for a worker who fell while working with a moving crane basket, and $790,000 for a worker who fell off of a platform while servicing a crane.