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Man Tells Of Frightening Close Call In UES Crane Trial

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) - Testimony continued today in the trial of James Lomma, charged in the deadly 2008 Upper East Side crane collapse. The latest witness told of his extremely close call that day.

WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell On The Case

Flynn Birch lived at 354 East 91st Street, right across from the construction site.

It was 8 o’clock in the morning on May 30, 2008 and, luckily for him, he had gotten out of bed.

He suddenly heard a loud crack, felt the building shake, and saw a crane come crashing through his bedroom window.

“I found myself underneath the crane,” Birch testified “I would have been pretty seriously injured if I’d still been in bed.” The falling crane that killed two construction workers thoroughly demolished his apartment.

A money-hungry construction crane owner’s decision to skimp on a vital repair job led to a collapse that killed two workers, a prosecutor said Tuesday as the owner went on trial in a manslaughter case he says is casting the 2008 accident as a crime.