JoAnne Beffert was parked in her pick-up truck in the Seattle Union Pacific railroad yard, waiting to give a co-worker a lift. Suddenly, a wheel on a 175,000 pound “piggy packer” crane, broke through a concrete lid on the yard surface, causing the crane to tip over. The crane crashed onto its left side, landing squarely on the pick-up truck, and crushing it. The dashboard of the truck pinned down Ms. Beffert’s legs, and she was unable to move. It took over four hours, and two attempts by the rescuers at the scene with another heavy duty crane, before the fallen crane was lifted up enough to extract Ms. Beffert from the wreckage.
Ms. Beffert suffered numerous fractures of both legs and knees. After hospitalization and extensive physical therapy, Ms. Beffert remained with some limited motion in her legs, significant scars, degenerative arthritis in her hip, and continuing instability and pain in her right knee.
02/27/2001 Update: Condition of woman injured in crane accident improves
5/05/2002 Update: JoAnne Beffert Describes Her Miraculous Escape
By Marsha King
Seattle Times staff reporter
It was like helplessly watching a giant Sequoia fall straight toward you.
The monster crane – all 175,000 pounds of it — crashed down in an instant on every side of JoAnn Beffert that snowy Friday morning nearly three months ago.
Category: Accident Report