NYC crane victim was Harvard-educated immigrant; funeral to be held Sunday

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NEW YORK — Family of the man crushed to death when a crane collapsed on his car say he was a Harvard-educated immigrant who worked tirelessly to succeed in life.

Lisa Guttman told The Associated Press on Friday her brother-in-law David Wichs as "the most brilliant person ever."

David Wichs, 38, of West 81st Street in Manhattan.

David Wichs, 38, of West 81st Street in Manhattan.

She says Wichs was born in Prague, immigrated to the U.S. as a teenager and took every opportunity he could, graduating with a degree in mathematics from Harvard University.

Officials say he was killed in Lower Manhattan while sitting in his car when a giant crane collapsed as workers were lowering it amid a snow squall.

Guttman says Wichs worked at the New York-based computerized financial trading firm Tower Research Capital.

A company representative didn't immediately return a message seeking comment.

Guttman called Wichs "the most special person ever."

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11:30 a.m.

Mayor Bill de Blasio says the crane that collapsed in Lower Manhattan was being lowered as a precaution because of wind when the accident occurred.

De Blasio said wind speeds were around 20 mph when crews arrived Friday morning so a decision was made to secure the crane. He says the crew had been directing people away from the area as the crane was being moved.

One person was killed and three injured when the crane toppled into the street.

The crane's boom landed across several cars, smashing their roofs. De Blasio says the person who was killed was sitting in a parked car.

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11:15 a.m.

Mayor Bill de Blasio says there have been gas leaks as the result of the deadly crane collapse in Lower Manhattan.

De Blasio says gas has been shut off in buildings around the area of Friday morning's collapse. Fire Department and Con Edison crews have been sweeping the area every 15 minutes to make sure it's safe.

The collapse left one person dead and three injured. De Blasio says the person who was killed was sitting in a parked car.

The crane's boom landed across several cars, smashing their roofs.

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11 a.m.

Mayor Bill de Blasio says the person killed in the Lower Manhattan crane collapse was sitting in a parked car.

Two other people are in serious condition and another person has minor injuries. The mayor says none of the injuries appear to be life-threatening.

The crane collapsed into the street Friday morning, stretching much of a block in the Tribeca neighborhood. The crane's boom landed across several cars, smashing their roofs, as debris littered the street.

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10:25 a.m.

An employee at a New York crane company says an investigation is underway after a massive crane collapsed onto a Manhattan street, killing one person and injuring three others.

The employee at Bay Crane said he was a manager but would not give his name when reached by The Associated Press. He declined further comment.

A crane bearing the company's name was overturned at the scene of Friday morning's collapse.

Fire officials say one person was killed and two seriously injured. A third person suffered minor injuries.

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9:40 a.m.

Fire officials say one person is dead and two others are seriously injured after a crane collapse in Lower Manhattan.

The accident was reported around 8:25 a.m. Friday in the Tribeca neighborhood. The crane landed across several parked cars, smashing their roofs.

The collapsed metal lattice landed across an intersection and stretched much of a block.

A witness who works nearby says he saw onlookers trying to help a person who was trapped in a car. Robert Harold says he also saw a person lying motionless body in the street.

Further details were not immediately known.

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9:20 a.m.

The FDNY says one person is dead and two others are seriously injured following a crane collapse in Lower Manhattan.

The accident was reported around 8:25 a.m. Friday in the Tribeca neighborhood. The crane landed across several parked cars, smashing their roofs.

The collapsed metal lattice landed across an intersection and stretched much of a block.

Further details were not immediately known.

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8:55 a.m.

The FDNY says it's evaluating two patients at the scene of a crane collapse in Lower Manhattan.

The accident was reported around 8:25 a.m. Friday in the Tribeca neighborhood. The crane landed across several parked cars, smashing their roofs.

Further details were not immediately known.

 

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