Garage manager ID’d as victim of fallen NY parking structure
Apr 20, 2023, 4:05 PM | Updated: 4:14 pm
NEW YORK (AP) — New York City authorities identified a longtime employee of a parking garage that collapsed earlier this week as the lone fatality in a tragedy that is under investigation by the Manhattan district attorney and building inspectors.
The medical examiner’s office said the 59-year-old man was crushed to death when the parking structure imploded Tuesday afternoon. Police identified him as Willis Moore.
The collapse shook nearby buildings as the thunderous implosion startled people all around the area and kicked up a thick plume of dust just blocks from City Hall and the Brooklyn Bridge.
Five other people were injured when the three-story building tumbled down, burying dozens of cars in tons of debris.
The City’s Building Department is looking into why the century-old structure collapsed.
Inspectors had cited the property owner two decades ago for failing to properly maintain the building, finding at the time that there were “cracks and defects” in the concrete. A more recent inspection in fall 2013 showed no further structural issues, according to an update that the Building Department provided Wednesday.
Building owners had until the end of the year to conduct a structural inspection of the structure under a safety program launched by the city last year. The new requirements ordered an initial inspection and additional inspections at least once every six years.
Enterprise Ann Parking, which operated the garage on Ann Street, said it was cooperating with authorities in their probe. A spokesman for the company called the collapse a tragedy.
“We are devastated at the loss of one of our long-time employees and our thoughts are with his family and those who were injured in the accident,” the company’s spokesman, Jeremy Zweig, said in a statement Wednesday night.
Fire crews recovered Moore’s body late Wednesday afternoon. The medical examiner’s office said he had died from “blunt force trauma of head, torso, and extremities.” The death was ruled an accident.
Moore’s family could not be immediately reached.
Adam Cohen, who lives near the parking garage, said he regularly saw Moore when he went by the structure to walk his daughters to school. He’s parked his vehicle at the garage for more than a decade.
He remembers waving to Moore on Tuesday morning, hours before the tragedy.
“I know Willis was out around helping people with their cars,” he said.
Another patron, Ahmed Scott, described Moore as a friendly man.
“Every morning I’d see him,” said Ahmed Scott, one of the regulars. “When I was leaving that morning — the last time we saw each other — we smiled, waved at each other.”
Crews on Thursday continued demolition work, using heavy machinery to dig into the rubble.