It was the kind of experience one can never forget…
I was inspecting a very unique crane system with one of our employees… just preventive maintenance. Unique means… try to picture a fork lift truck, except it doesn’t run on the floor, it is suspended from this huge overhead crane… the forks running up and down this big long column, suspended from a trolley going back and forth along the crane beams while the crane itself ran along the rails for the length of the building.
The rails were 30 feet above the floor. My feet were straddling the I-beam as I checked the crane wheels. My hands were holding onto one of the main crane beams. Suddenly the crane started moving straight at me, starting to sweep me off the rails, except my left leg was pinned between the moving end truck and one of the building columns. I pressed both my arms against the moving crane beam, trying to push it back or at least keep it from crushing my leg until it would cut thru my leg and push me off the rails to the floor 30 feet below.
I cried out one word… “Jesus”… the crane stopped. Then the crane started moving in the opposite direction. As it moved away from me, I grabbed the building column… trying to collect myself. My left leg was bleeding between my shin and my knee. My left arm was bleeding where it had pressed against a corner of the crane beam.
I don’t remember much more… people helped me down… got me to the ER… I still have the scars from my encounter with the crane. It seems that the young man I had brought along to help me was curious. He had never seen anything like this crane before… wondered how it worked… so he climbed into the operator’s compartment and thought he would see just how it went back and forth and up and down…
He never heard me cry out… he was clueless… he just moved the crane in one direction, then thought he would try it in the other direction… and I remain thankful to this day that Jesus heard my cry.