SEATTLE – Two years after a crane fell from the Google Cloud building in Seattle, KIRO 7 received the police camera video of the reaction.
Seattle Police Officer Fiona Taylor became the first woman on the scene after the crane collapsed on April 27, 2019. Your body camera shows the horror and heroism of that day. “Can you hear me? Can you hear me? Can you hear me?” Officer Taylor said as she tried to rescue 19-year-old Seattle Pacific University student Sarah Wong. Wong was riding on the back of an Uber when it was crushed by the tower crane. A friend who was sitting next to her asked for help. “She is my friend! She is my friend!” Wong was among four people who died. Alan Justad, 71, was killed while driving a car. Steel workers Travis Corbet and Andrew Yoder fell on the road while dismantling the crane.
The Washington Department of Labor and Industry noted that workers removed all of the pins in the crane at the same time, not incrementally. Gusty winds dropped the crane on the traffic. “I was horrified because I knew it was preventable and it shouldn’t have happened and no one should have died. I was horrified and then I got really angry and decided I had to do something about it,” said State Senator Karen Emperor . It introduced a bill to more closely monitor the erection and dismantling of cranes, but the legislation failed. However, Kaiser was able to increase the budget for crane inspectors by $ 300,000 per year. “We have doubled the number of crane inspectors and sent a special inspection team to King County, which is where most of the cranes are.”
After being the crane capital of the United States, Seattle ranks second after Washington, DC. 43 cranes tower above the city, petrifying survivors of the crane break like Ali Edriss. Edriss drove the Uber that carried Sarah Wong and two other passengers. The video from the police body camera shows Edriss being rescued after the crane crushes his left side. “What happened? What happened?” Edriss asked rescuers to take him to an ambulance. He’s still battling the physical and emotional scars. “It was terrible. It was a tragedy. It was difficult, ”said Edriss to KIRO 7. Attorney Mike Wampold is representing Edriss and one other survivor. “It will be very difficult for victims of a crane accident to live in the Seattle area. It is very difficult for victims of crane accidents to go on and not live their lives very fearfully because this is not supposed to happen, ”said Wampold.
Amid the grief, the video from the police body camera reveals moments of gratitude. After the crane crushed their Audi, Jen Kois and her young daughter escaped with scratches. The video with the body camera shows an officer asking Kois if their baby is breathing well. She replies: “I think so.”
Senator Kaiser says while she believes more inspectors are making crane assembly and disassembly safer in Washington, she is calling for higher fines and possible federal oversight. “It could be that the national OSHA, the national labor protection agency, is viewing this entire industry as a pattern of concern,” said Senator Kaiser.
KIRO 7 approached the lawyers representing the families of those killed in the crane collapse. You are suing the responsible companies and declining to comment on this story.