A crane operator suspected of being under the influence during a Philadelphia building collapse that killed six people has surrendered himself into police custody. The Philadelphia building was scheduled for demolition but the something went wrong during the process and the building collapsed on a thrift store on June 5, killing two employees and four customers. The 42-year-old crane operator is believed by police to have been high on marijuana at the time of the collapse based on a toxicology report.
The 42-year-old crane operator is facing charges of 13 counts of reckless endangerment and 6 counts of involuntary manslaughter. He reportedly has a police record and a warrant had already been issued for him before he surrendered himself into police custody. However, his attorney states that the accident was not his client’s fault. His attorney went on to state that the crane operator was able to safely operate heavy equipment and that he violated no laws.
The crane operator’s past charges include weapons possession, theft and drug charges. At least two survivors are seeking to open suits against the building owner and contractor due to a workplace injury. They believe that the accident was the result of recklessness and negligence at the job site. Philadelphia’s mayor has stated that he intends to create more stringent background requirements for contractors, and hold more frequent site inspections.
Both the crane operator himself and the contracting company that he was working for may be found to have been negligent. The families of the workers in the thrift store that were killed may be able to use a lawyer to help them determine who is truly at fault in their family member’s deaths or if fault is shared among multiple parties.
Source: Fox News, “Crane operater wanted in Philadelphia building collapse deaths turns himself in “, June 08, 2013