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Feds Investigate Fatal UT Dallas Crane Collapse

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RICHARDSON (CBS 11 NEWS) – Fifty-year-old Terry Weaver, of Grand Saline, labored five days a week as an ironworker, then spent his weekends working on cranes.

Saturday afternoon, Weaver –– himself a father and grandfather –– was helping dismantle a crane at the University of Texas at Dallas when strong winds gusting 50 miles an hour blew through campus.

The crane’s tower collapsed, killing Weaver and a second worker, Thomas  Fairbrother, Jr., 58.

“He had a tough job and we always worried about him,” said his father, Loy Weaver.

“He died doing what he loved,” his 29-year-old daughter said over the phone.

Federal investigators from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration were on campus this weekend.  The agency confirms it is investigating the subcontractor, Harrison Crane and Hoist, who employed Weaver and Fairbrother to determine if any negligence contributed to their death.

An OSHA spokesperson said the company has no history of any prior deaths or violations.
UT Dallas employees, meanwhile, covered library windows with tarps Monday, obscuring the view of the crane that lies in pieces.

Students in the library at the time of the collapse described hearing people screaming and a loud crash.

“When I started walking toward the library, I saw two construction workers crying.  It was just a real bad scene,” said  Borna Danesh, a graduate student who was on campus that day.

The university says engineers are not developing a plan to safely remove the crane and repair the damage.
Students, meanwhile, began meeting today in the hopes of finding a way to help the victims’ families.

“Everyone’s just real distraught over it – and kids just want to help out,” said Danesh.

Weaver’s memorial service is planned for this Thursday. Family for Thomas Fairbrother could not be reached.

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