NY tower crane crash owner James Frank Lomma indicted
THE boom's coming down on James Frank Lomma two years after his cranes collapsed onto Manhattan sidewalks killing nine.
These two separate catastrophic accidents now see Lomma on the brink of being indicted for manslaughter, New York Post reports.
The news comes from four sources with knowledge of the investigation.
The charges, which may come as early as Monday, accuse Lomma and his company, New York Crane, of fatal corner-cutting in the second collapse, which happened on May 30, 2008, on East 91st Street, sources said.
In that accident, a 24-year-old, cheaply refurbished, Lomma-owned crane snapped in two, sending the crane's boom, engine and cab plummeting 20 stories with its operator trapped inside.
Construction worker Ramadan Kurtij, a 27- year-old immigrant who supported a large family back in his native Kosovo, was killed.
Crane operator Donald Leo, 30, died just three weeks before his wedding.
"It's a start. It's about time," said Leo's father, also named Donald and himself a crane operator. "Now, I have some answers. My son was killed for one reason and one reason only: Greed."
In recent weeks, under the direction of newly elected Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr, prosecutors presented grand jurors with a parade of witnesses.
Virtually everyone involved in the project, from desk-jockey contractors and inspectors to riggers and oilers were still grimy from their work sites after being summoned by subpoenas.
Criminal and civil lawyers for the colorful, 64-year-old crane magnate - who according to asset records owns a million-dollar Staten Island home and a huge yacht berthed in St Thomas - did not return phone calls seeking comment yesterday.
It's unclear who, besides Lomma and his company, is on the hook in the massive, two-year probe, and what charges, beyond manslaughter, may loom.
But sources said the manslaughter charges against Lomma at least in part concern a cheaply done weld in the crane's "turntable," the bearing that allows the crane's cab and boom to pivot.
Manslaughter charges are still pending against William Rapetti, the master rigger, for the collapse on East 51st Street in March 2008 that killed seven.
Read more: http://www.news.com.au/world/ny-tower-crane-crash-owner-james-frank-lomma-indicted/story-e6frfkyi-1225837794501#ixzz1DtEqrvar