EAST VILLAGE, Manhattan (PIX11) — A 19-year-old man was killed Friday morning after he was struck by a cherry picker in Manhattan, police said.
The tragic accident involved a father and son construction crew at First Avenue and East 7th Street in the East Village around 8:30 a.m., according to authorities.
Veteran construction company owner Troy Lorenzo just happened to be on the block at the time of the accident. Lorenzo witnessed the 42-year-old father at the wheel of the cherry picker, backing it up while his 19-year-old son was behind the huge machine, acting as a guide and directing traffic.
“I was walking up as the kid was directing the machine back,” said Lorenzo.
Lorenzo said the son got too close to the wheels and was crushed. Medics pronounced the 19-year-old dead at the scene.
The NYPD said there was no criminality in what amounted to a tragic accident.
“He was hysterical. You couldn’t even talk to him,” said Lorenzo.
Federal workplace safety officials were on scene Friday afternoon conducting their own investigation.
“The way the machine is designed, there are a lot of blind spots. You should be at least 10 to 15 feet away from the back tire as it is in reverse. This kid was too close to the machine, too close to the tire. And once that tire grabs your boot, it’s like an alligator. It’s grabbing you and it’s pulling you in. There’s no way of escaping that,” said Lorenzo.