A crane at a residential construction site snapped off its boom and fell on the crane operator’s 55-year-old friend, killing him, officials said.
The victim, Harry Weaver, had driven the crane operator to the job site in a residential golfing community in south Lakeland Wednesday, said Rusty Parsons, an employee of Crane & Rigging of Florida, also known as Tru-Fab Inc.
Weaver was “his best friend, really,” Parsons said. “It’s a tough time here.”
Police could not confirm the crane operator’s name.
Weaver did not work for the construction company, police said.
“It certainly sounds like a case of an individual that was possibly somewhere where he shouldn’t have been,” said Chris Smith, a Pinellas Park construction safety consultant and owner of Crane Certifications.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating.
Harry Weaver, 55, of 3614 Imperial Lane, was killed instantly when the 15-foot 1,500-pound steel extension (jib) fell, said Officer Tim Snyder.
“We were folding the crane up and finishing the job,” said crane operator Kenneth McCollum of Crane & Rigging of Florida. “I heard it (the extension) come loose when I moved the crane and I hollered to him.”
But McCollum said he yelled too late, and Weaver, McCollum’s friend and fellow worker of 20 years, could not escape the falling crane extension.