Companies fined more than $100K for crane collapse that killed North Bend man

L&I determined it was a strong wind gust and removed crane pins that led to the deaths of four.

Three companies were cited a total of $107,200 for safety violations after a crane collapsed in Seattle killing four, the Washington Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) announced Oct. 17.

The highest fine among the violations was a $70,000 citation against Morrow Equipment, for a willful serious violation of not following the crane manufacturer’s procedures. A willful violation is described as an employer who “knowingly ignored a legal requirement or was indifferent to employee safety,” L&I said.

Morrow approved removing pins and sleeves that fastened the tower together, while the manufacturer’s procedures called for only removing the pins for each individual section being dismantled. Nearly all of the about 50 pins and sleeves were removed, and when the 45-plus mile per hour gust hit, the crane toppled.

The accident took place on April 27, on the streets of Fairview Avenue and Mercer Street, the Seattle Fire Department reported. The department responded at about 3:28 p.m. after the crane fell from the roof of a building and damaged six cars in total.

There were four fatalities as a result of the accident. Two of the victims were in the crane, the other two in separate cars. Four others were injured and evaluated by medics. Ironworker Andrew Yoder, of North Bend, was one of four people killed.

Three others were injured as a result of the accident and transported with non-life threatening injuries to Haborview Medical Center in Seattle— a 27-year-old male, 25-year-old female and four-month infant.

Soon after the accident, L&I opened an investigation to look into the factors surrounding the crane collapse at Google’s campus in Seattle.

In its inquiry, the department gathered information from the site of the accident. L&I investigators measured the accident scene to determine where pieces of the crane landed and looked at the crane itself.

The five companies under scrutiny were: Gall Landau Young Construction Company Inc. (GLY), Northwest Tower Crane Service Inc., Omega Rigging and Machinery Moving Inc., Morrow Equipment Company LLC. and Seaburg Construction Corporation.

L&I cited GLY construction for three serious violations and fined it $25,200. The company allegedly failed to have a qualified supervisor and other personnel onsite at all times as the crane disassembly was happening, failed to account for weather and did not ensure manufacturer’s procedures were followed.

Northwest Tower Crane Services faces $12,000 in fines for three serious violations of not following manufacturer’s procedures, not ensuring workers understood their assigned duties and inadequate worker training.

The employers have 15 business days to appeal the citation. Seaburg Construction and Omega Rigging and Machinery were not cited.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@valleyrecord.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.valleyrecord.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

For Gary Schwartz, a Valley-based author, the pandemic hasn’t changed his writing style or schedule, but he’s finding it harder to muse ideas. He enjoys writing young adult fiction, and has published one book, "The King of Average." File photo
Penning through the pandemic

Local authors are finding ways to adapt to an unpredictable world.

North Bend could have its own marijuana store soon.
North Bend approved pot shop development agreement

The council voted to approve the agreement on Dec. 1.

Ryan Hartwell (Fred) hugs Tim Platt (Scrooge) in the final scene of VCS’s production of “A Christmas Carol” in 2019. File photo
‘A Christmas Carol’ returns Dec. 5

Valley Center Stage will be performing its rendition of “A Christmas Carol”… Continue reading

A King County Sheriff’s Office photo of the crawlspace in which Urbano Velazquez was hiding when a K-9 unit was used. Sound Publishing file photo
King County settles $2 million dog bite lawsuit

The county agreed to pay $100,000 after being sued after a 2016 K-9 unit arrest.

Contributed by the Society for Conservation Biology 
A map showing the locations where plants have gone extinct in the U.S. and Canada since European settlers arrived.
Study: 65 plant species have gone extinct in U.S., Canada

More than 65 species of plants have gone extinct in the U.S.… Continue reading

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Regency North Bend outbreak leaves four dead

A large outbreak of COVID-19 at Regency North Bend, a senior living… Continue reading

North Bend City Hall. Courtesy of northbendwa.gov
North Bend passes on property tax increase

The North Bend City Council narrowly voted not to increase the amount… Continue reading

David Olson. Contributed photo
The Valley loses one of its biggest hearts

David Olson died in early November, but his legacy of dedicated community service lives on.

Sage Viniconis is a career performing artist in King County who’s been out of work and seeking creative outlets during the COVID-19 pandemic. Courtesy photo/Sage Viniconis
Puget Sound artists adapt creativity, and business sense, to pandemic

Artists Sunday is an online directory that connects artists across the county, state and nation.

Most Read