A fatal crane collapse shows failure of safety procedures

On April 27th, 2019, four people lost their lives when a crane tower fell onto one of the busiest streets in Seattle.  Several others were injured and rushed to the local trauma hospital.

What is becoming apparent is that the crane fell because short-cuts were taken. Short-cuts that should never have occurred.

Experts weigh in on fatal crane collapse

First, many have demanded to know: why wasn’t Mercer Street, a main roadway in and out of Seattle,  not closed for construction?

According to reporter Chris Daniels at KING5, only one of the five contractors involved in a fatal crane collapse requested a street closure during the crane’s disassembly – Valley Street. Mercer Street remained open.

Others have suggested that the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) should have acted to close the street. An SDOT spokesperson said that it’s up to contractors to request a street closure. This is a poor reason and excuse to expose the public to construction dangers.

Second, we have learned that it is common practice for contractors disassembling tower cranes to remove connecting pins early in the process in order to save time.

Despite the obvious safety risks and the danger of such a practice.

According to experts, if the structure’s pins had not been removed, the crane would never have tipped over. Or, it would take winds hundreds of miles per hour to push the crane over.

If this theory is true, attempting to save a few minutes in crane disassembly cost four people their lives.

There are dozens of large construction cranes visible in Seattle – the crane that fell on Mercer Street was one of many that hover over our streets.

While these are simply theories set forth by experts who have viewed video footage and photographs, it is apparent that something went very wrong and that some safety procedures were not followed.

Safety procedures are in place to prevent this very type of tragedy.

Here at Coluccio Law, all too often we see trucking companies, contractors and motorist taking short-cuts or not following safety procedures and the tragic results. Lives are lost and lives are changed forever when short-cuts are taken and safety procedures are not properly followed.

– Attorney Kevin Coluccio 


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