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Mechanic Pleads Guilty After NYC Crane Collapse

Debris is scattered on the ground at the scene of a crane collapse on Manhattan's Upper East Side at 91st Street and 1st Avenue May 30, 2008 in New York. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Debris is scattered on the ground at the scene of a crane collapse on Manhattan’s Upper East Side at 91st Street and 1st Avenue May 30, 2008 in New York. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A mechanic charged in a crane collapse in New York City has pleaded guilty to criminal negligent homicide.

Tibor Varganyi also agreed to testify against James Lomma, the crane company owner.

In pleading guilty, Varganyi will avoid a manslaughter charge that carries a possible 15-year sentence.

The New York Times, citing a transcript of a closed Oct. 5 hearing, said Varganyi could be spared jail time if he testifies against Lomma.

The New York Crane and Equipment Corporation owner is charged with manslaughter and other charges.

Lomma’s lawyer, Andrew Lankler, said it was unfortunate Varganyi pleaded guilty because the evidence will demonstrate no one at the company violated any criminal laws.

Prosecutors say the men arranged for a cheap welding job on the crane that failed.

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