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Painful Testimony Given In Crane Collapse 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) – The trial of the crane owner in the deadly Upper East Side collapse continued on Friday.

WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell On The Case

Interspersed with testimony about the bad welding jobs, the crack in the turntable that supported the crane operator’s cab, and the accusations of negligence by the crane owner, there are the witnesses who bring home the human tragedy.

From the death of Donald Leo, the crane operator killed three weeks before his wedding date, to the death of construction worker Ramadan Kurtaj, who was trapped underneath the fallen crane.

His cousin Xhevahire Sinanaj who, came to New York from Kosovo when she was 20-years-old, told of remaining close close to her cousin Ramadan, who had fought for his country – Kosovo.

Her voice choked with emotion as she told of his last visit to her home in the Bronx.

He came to see her children, she said. Two days later he was crushed in the crane collapse.

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 as the owner went on trial in a manslaughter case he says is casting the 2008 accident as a crime.

“They were killed because of one man’s greed,” Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Eli Cherkasky said in his opening statement in James Lomma’s trial, the only criminal trial stemming from the deadly collapse.