Business & Finance

Near-Death Experience for Westfield Resident in Fatal NYC Crane Collapse

Jesse Natale, a civil engineer from Westfield, narrowly missed the massive construction crane collapse that claimed a life in New York City Friday.

NEW YORK, NY – Count 26-year-old Westfield resident Jesse Natale among the fortunate survivors of a tragic accident involving a massive construction crane collapse on a Tribeca street in lower Manhattan that claimed one life and injured three others Friday.

Natale, a civil engineer who works in all five of New York’s boroughs, was stopped at a traffic light at the intersection of Worth St. and Church St. and was on his way home from a cancelled job at construction site when he witnessed the accident right before his eyes.

“I started to see debris falling from the building in front of me,” explained Natale in an interview with TAP into. “I could see the boom of the crane connected to the cabin from where I was stopped, so my initial thought was that something hit the building or that snow had caused the roof or an awning of some sort to collapse. The next thing I know, the red boom of the crane was falling through the sky and it landed in the middle of the street.”

Sign Up for E-News

The crane, which has a boom length of 565 feet, crashed less than a block away from Natale, crushing parked cars and anything else in its path of destruction.  

“After it happened, I realized that had I made the light or been maybe 100 feet closer I could've been killed,” Natale said.

Immediately after notifying the police of the incident, Natale, who has lived in Westfield for more than a decade, called his father to inform him of the events that had just transpired.

“I told him about what I saw, but at the time I had no idea the severity of the situation,” he said. “I knew it was bad but I had no idea if anyone had gotten hurt.”

Natale then proceeded to inform his girlfriend and other relatives, including his grandmother.

“My family knows I work all over the five boroughs daily and they can't really keep up with where I am most of the time,” added Natale. “My family is always concerned for me because they know I work in the city and these things happen from time to time in my field of work.”

One man — a pedestrian who lived in New York City — has been reported dead in the accident.

“It's extremely unfortunate that someone, especially someone not working on the site, was killed and that other people were severely injured,” Natale said.

The near-death experience has not changed his outlook on life.

“I know that these things happen and so I value my life,” he said. “I didn't take [life] for granted before and I will continue not to in the future. If anything, the incident just reminds me that I need to pay attention to my surroundings at all times.”  

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Scotch Plains/Fanwood

Summer Life Guard Job Opportunity in Union County

April 10, 2018

UNION COUNTY, NJ - Summer lifeguard positions are available at Union County’s public swimming pool, the Walter Ulrich Memorial Pool at Rahway River Park in Rahway.

“Union County’s Ulrich Pool provides our youth and adult summer job seekers with an opportunity to enjoy working outdoors in the fresh air all summer long while sharpening valuable life skills including leadership, ...

Why We Keep Kosher

Why We Keep Kosher

This week's parshah, Shemini, introduces the Torah's dietary laws. Animals must chew their cud and have split hooves to be kosher, fish need fins and scales, and a list of forbidden fowl is enumerated.

To those of us in Jewish education, it is a continuing source of disappointment that so many Jews still believe the kosher laws to be outdated.

Politics IS Government in Union County

April 21, 2018

Dear Editor:

After Bruce Patterson of Garwood was stopped from speaking at the Union County Freeholder meeting of March 22 regarding the politics behind refusing to give the party line to a sitting Freeholder, I thought this brazen suppression of free speech could not go unanswered.

At the April 19 meeting I answered with these comments.

After ten years of following government in Union ...

Helping Teenagers Deal with Prom Night Stress

April 18, 2018

Prom can be one of the most exciting times for your teenager but at the same time one of the most stressful. 

It can also be very stressful for parents as they prepare themselves to accept that their teenager is graduating and soon going away to school, while planning a weekend away after prom night. Going to the Shore for the weekend or somewhere overnight has become more of the ...

Congregation Beth Israel Students Learn About Islam

April 23, 2018

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- On April 11, Jewish students from Congregation Beth Israel in Scotch Plains and Mrs. Kouser Izhar, a Moslem woman from East Brunswick, met at the synagogue for a conversation about Islam.

Kouser, an information technology professional, offered to teach the seventh-grade students about Islam when she heard of their interest in learning about other religions. Kouser Izhar ...

Upcoming Events

Mon, April 23, 3:30 PM

Scotch Plains Public Library, Scotch Plains

After School Club for Teens at Scotch Plains ...

Arts & Entertainment Education

Wed, April 25, 4:00 PM

Scotch Plains Public Library, Scotch Plains

Speak with Congressional Staff on April 25 at the ...