NYC crane collapse: Manhattan Crane Collapse

Published: February 6, 2016

NYC crane collapse: Manhattan Crane Collapse, The life of David Wichs, the 38-year-old trading firm employee who was killed Friday morning when an enormous construction crane crashed onto a street in Lower Manhattan, was distinguished by the kinds of achievements that figure in many immigrant dreams.

But those who knew Mr. Wichs, who immigrated to the United States from Czechoslovakia as a teenager, remembered a fundamentally humble and warmhearted man.

“David was the nicest, most trustworthy person that I have known,” said Mark Gorton, the founder and managing director of Tower Research Capital, the trading firm where he worked. “I have worked with him for over 15 years, and in that whole time, he treated every person he dealt with in a nice and decent way.”

Mr. Wichs’s abilities surfaced early. He was a 1995 semifinalist in the Westinghouse Science Talent Search while a student at the Yeshiva of Flatbush, then went on to earn a degree in mathematics from Harvard University. A career in finance followed.

“This is obviously a horrible, horrible tragedy,” said Rabbi Elie Weinstock, a rabbi at the synagogue. “An outstanding young man killed in a terrible accident.”

As a child, Mr. Wichs was featured in a book on the lives of Jewish youth in Eastern Europe, where he described the twin pressures of anti-Semitism and communist education that he and his peers faced.

“In Czechoslovakia I don’t really feel Jewish,” he told the author when he was 11. “That is mostly because if I tell others that I am a Jew, I can make big problems for myself.”


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