Dashcam video shows crane collapse onto busy Seattle street

SEATTLE -- Harrowing video caught on Scott Forrest Gaines' dashboard camera shows the minute a construction crane collapsed on Saturday afternoon, killing four people and injuring four others.

The video continues and shows the crane crash onto the street, but Q13 stopped the video before impact out of respect for those killed.

The King County Medical Examiner's office has said it would release the names of the female and three males who died Saturday afternoon when the crane crashed onto one of Seattle's busiest streets.

On Sunday, Seattle Pacific University said in a statement that a freshman student was among those killed when the crane fell from a building under construction on Google's new Seattle campus onto Mercer Street. Sarah Wong was a freshman who intended to major in nursing and lived on campus, the university said in a statement.

Wong was in a car when the crane fell, the university said.

All four people had died by the time firefighters arrived Saturday afternoon, Fire Chief Harold Scoggins said. Two were ironworkers who had been inside the crane while the other two were inside a car, Fire Department spokesman Lance Garland said.

"While we grieve the sudden and tragic loss of our precious student, we draw comfort from each other," Seattle Pacific's statement said. "We ask that the community join us in praying for Sarah's family and friends during this difficult time."

The crane struck six cars and also injured four people.

Frank Kuin, a Montreal-based journalist, was in a Seattle hotel lobby when he heard a "big bang" and felt the floor shake. He said he initially thought there had been an earthquake. Then he saw motorists leaving their cars on a nearby off ramp and running toward something.

Kuin followed them around a corner and saw a chunk of the crane lying on top of cars, including three that were crushed.

"To imagine what happened to those people who just happened to be driving by was quite shocking," said Kuin, who later took photographs of the scene from his fifth-floor hotel room.

Other witnesses, like Bruce Cashmere and his 19-year-old son, Deyan, both from Australia, jumped in to help.

Deyan is battling cancer and is in Seattle for treatment.

Officials do not yet know the cause of the collapse.

Washington state labor investigators were at the scene of the collapse Sunday, trying to piece together what happened, said Tim Church, a spokesman for the Washington Department of Labor & Industries.

"It's a very detailed process," he said. "It will actually be months before we have anything regarding the cause."

Church said the agency has formally opened an investigation into four companies — general contractor GLY, Northwest Tower Crane Service Inc., Omega Rigging and Machinery Moving Inc. and Morrow Equipment Co. LLC. Church said he didn't know where the companies are based.

The tower crane was being disassembled when it fell from the building, Church said.