Five companies included in L&I crane collapse investigation

Andrew Yoder to be remembered with Bellevue service.

Washington’s Department of Labor & Industries has opened an investigation into the factors surrounding a fatal crane accident at Google’s campus in Seattle.

As part of the process, five companies are under investigation. They include 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.

The incident of April 27 killed four people — two people who were traveling in cars and two ironworkers. Included among the four is Andrew Yoder, a North Bend man.

Tim Church of L&I said the department is guaranteed six months by law to conclude the workplace safety and health investigation. Given the complex nature of the case, and the number of companies and people involved, Church said he anticipates investigation findings in late October.

The department has been working to gather information from the site of the accident. Investigators measured where pieces landed, examined damage to cars and buildings, took photos and conducted interviews. Investigators have also traveled to examine the different components of the crane. Church anticipates investigators will view dash cam footage from a within a car when the accident happened.

“(We’ll view) every piece we can to put together a picture of what happened,” Church said.

The crane plummeted from atop a building, and is now red tagged, meaning it can not currently be used in any way — in whole or in pieces — until it is deemed safe. In order to remove the red tag, the crane would have to be examined by engineers. The red tag will remain throughout the investigation.

In a history of infractions incurred by the five companies since 2014, provided by Church, GLY had one “serious” ( a technical term describing a mid-level of severity) violation last summer for allowing employees to work too close to power lines.

In a news statement, the Bellevue-based company said they are cooperating fully with investigators and assisting the local authorities.

“We are deeply saddened and heartbroken by what happened at our job site on the northwest corner of Mercer and Fairview in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood,” the company wrote. “Our sympathy and deepest condolences go out to the families, friends and colleagues of those who were killed in this tragic accident.”

Seaburg, which provides staffing to crane companies, had four “serious” infractions as a result of two investigations. Both incidents happened in 2017.

This isn’t the first fatal crane accident to occur in King County. A Bellevue crane collapse in 2006 killing one person and damaging three buildings. An investigation into the Bellevue accident concluded in 2007. The state discovered a flawed engineering design.

As the investigation continues, the community has been mourning the loss of Yoder.

He leaves behind a wife, Andrea, and their two children — 3- and 5-year-old boys. Andrea said Andrew was her heart, and she couldn’t remember the last time she went 24 hours without talking to him.

“The void left by his sudden and tragic death has made it hard to breathe,” she said in a statement provided to the Valley Record by a family member. “I know this void will never go away, but I am thankful for the almost 12 years we did get to have together, and for how he loved me and our boys.

“Even at just 3 and 5 years old, he was so impressed with who they are becoming. Andrew also impacted many lives, and I’m so thankful to see the overwhelming outpouring of sympathy and loving support during this time so that I can focus on helping our sons walk through this and to make sure they remember their dada in his life, not just his death.”

North Bend church Calvary Mt Si set up a benevolence fund to receive tax-deductible donations to support Andrea and their sons. Donations can be given by visiting http://www.calvarymtsi.com/index.php/give and noting “Yoder Family” in the comments section.

A celebration of life for Andrew will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 18, at the Westminster Chapel in Bellevue.


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

Stock image
Campgrounds to reopen in 22 Washington counties

Campgrounds in counties actively in Phase 2 of the reopening plan will begin to welcome visitors June 1, state says.

King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht. FILE PHOTO
King County sheriff releases message about Minneapolis Police officer

Mitzi Johanknecht calls video of officer kneeling on neck of George Floyd ‘heartbreaking and disturbing’

File photo of construction near North Bend on Aug. 16. Sound Publishing file photo
                                File photo of construction near North Bend on Aug. 16. Sound Publishing file photo
Rural King County mayors want state to let them enter Phase 2

Mayors cite heavy economic damage from prolonged shutdown.

New dashboard shows how far along King County is to meeting Phase II metrics

The county has met more than half its goals, but the ones it hasn’t met are critical in determining how many people are still being infected, and how quickly people are being tested.

As sales tax plummets in King County, mental health and drug program funding dries up

County will need to make severe cuts to MIDD program this year.

Pictured: Snoqualmie Mayor Matt Larson, left, and North Bend Mayor Rob McFarland. Courtesy photo
State of the Valley address highlights COVID economic impact

Mayors of North Bend and Snoqualmie tout city accomplishments from 2019.

Auburn Mountain View Cemetery Manager Craig Hudson, center, confers with maintenance workers David Partridge, left, and Zach Hopper in March 2020. Sound Publishing file photo
State allows weddings, funerals, religious services to restart with restrictions

Gov. Inslee issues new rules during May 27 news conference.

State loosens cougar hunting restrictions

The regulations will impact 19 areas around the state.

Most Read