A man who tried to save one of the victims of the Seattle crane collapse wanted the teen’s parents to know that she was not alone in her final moments.
Vince Vasile was the first person to reach Sarah Wong after a crane that was on top of an under-construction Google building crashed onto a busy downtown street.
Wong, a 19-year-old freshman at Seattle Pacific University, was one of four people killed in the tragic accident.
Vasile was waiting for the light to change on Mercer Street when the crane collapsed and crashed into the car behind him.
A man who tried to save Sarah Wong, one of the victims of the Seattle crane collapse, wanted the teen’s parents to know that she was not alone in her final moments
Wong, a freshman at Seattle Pacific University, was one of four people killed in the horrific crane collapse in downtown Seattle on Saturday
‘I just close my eyes and I keep seeing the crane falling behind my truck,’ Vasile, who was driving his children at the time, told KOMO.
‘And the truck moving and the clouds of dusts. And hearing all of the sirens and everybody screaming and yelling.’
Vince Vasile was the first person to reach Wong after the crane collapsed on Saturday
Vasile pulled his truck over and then ran out to see two men carrying the driver of the car that had been behind him.
He rushed to the car and first saw a woman who was trapped in her seat belt in the backseat. It was another Seattle Pacific University student who had been sitting next to Wong.
‘I asked her if she was okay. And she was like “Yeah, yeah”. I was like “Are you hurt in any way?” and she’s like “No, I’m just trapped. I’m trapped,”‘ Vasile recalled.
‘There was a guy walking by and I was like “I need a knife”. And he just happened to have a knife. Cut it and pulled her out and that’s when I saw Sarah.’
Vasile said Wong was still conscious when he saw her, before first responders arrived on the scene and told him to get back.
The crane fell from a building on Google’s new Seattle campus and came crashing down onto one of the city’s busiest streets (pictured)
‘I just wanted to make sure Sarah’s parents and family knew that she wasn’t alone,’ he said.
‘In her final moments that I was there with her, she didn’t seem to be in any pain.’
Vasile said that, as a father, he knew he needed to stay with Wong.
‘I would hope that if my daughter was in that situation, that someone would stay with her for as long as they could,’ he added.
Vasile now hopes that he will one day be able to meet Wong’s friend who survived the crash and make sure that she is okay.
Seattle Pacific University said in a statement that the other student was unharmed but remains ‘deeply shaken by the accident and the loss of Sarah’.
Vasile said Wong was still conscious when he saw her, before first responders arrived on the scene and told him to get back
Seattle Pacific University confirmed Wong’s death with a statement and photo posted to its Facebook page on Sunday
Wong, who was from South Pasadena, California, intended to major in nursing and had lived on campus.
‘We are deeply saddened to confirm that one of our students passed away in the crane accident in Seattle on April 27,’ SPU said in a statement on Sunday.
‘While we grieve the sudden and tragic loss of our precious student, we draw comfort from each other, our strong community of faith, and God’s presence with us in times of sorrow.’
‘We ask that the community join us in praying for Sarah’s family and friends during this difficult time.’
Cody Sugai, one of Wong’s classmates, said she was known for being outgoing and warm.
‘I want to remember how loving and caring a person she was,’ he told KOMO.
Two of victims killed in the accident were experienced ironworkers who were disassembling the crane. One of those men, Andrew Yoder, was a 31-year-old from Seattle who was described as a young father
Yoder (pictured top, second from left) was a Marine. Friends on social media said he was also a devout Christian
‘She shows that love to everyone and a joy that is infectious to people. She was someone who really loved people.’
Two of the victims killed in the accident were experienced ironworkers who were disassembling the crane, according to their unions. Andrew Yoder, a 31-year-old from Seattle, was described as a young father.
His colleague Travis Corbet, a fellow Marine, was from Portland and was recently married.
The third man who died in the accident was, like Wong, traveling in a car at the time of the accident. The King County Medical Examiner’s Office will release the names of all four victims on Monday.
The crane at the South Lake Union project collapsed on Mercer Street shortly before 3.30pm and crushed six cars below on Saturday.
Horrifying dashcam video captured the moment the crane came crashing down as cars were driving directly below in Seattle on Saturday afternoon
The crane at the South Lake Union project collapsed on Mercer Street near Interstate 5 shortly before 3.30pm on Saturday
It remains unclear what caused the crane to collapse.
Three people – including a mother and her baby – were also injured and taken to Harborview Medical Center.
Another person inside a damaged car was treated at the scene and not transported to hospital.
The 25-year-old mother and her four-month-old daughter suffered non-life threatening injuries. A 27-year-old man was also evaluated for non-life threatening injuries.
Horrifying video of the collapse emerged on Sunday, capturing the moment in toppled from the Google building and into Mercer Street.
Emergency crews work at the scene of a construction crane collapse. Two of the vehicles crushed by the crane are seen
Blake Haner stands near the scene of the accident with flowers a for those killed in the construction crane collapse
A separate timelapse video was filmed just moments earlier and showed the crane swaying dangerously in the wind.
Deyan Cashmere and his father Eric, who both work in construction in Australia, decided to start filming after spotting the leaning crane.
‘I thought it was going to fall. It was at an angle. It wasn’t standing upright,’ Deyan told the Seattle Times.
About five minutes after taking the video, the pair said they heard a huge crash and knew immediately it was the crane.
They gave copies of the video to police who are investigating the incident.
The Washington Department of Labor & Industries has formally opened an investigation into general contractor GLY, Northwest Tower Crane Service Inc, Omega Rigging and Machinery Moving Inc, and Morrow Equipment Co LLC.