Victims of 'Big Blue' crane collapse not forgotten 15 years later
MILWAUKEE - It will be remembered as one of the worst days in Milwaukee's history. 15 years ago the big blue crane collapsed, killing three ironworkers at Miller Park.
The crane called big blue was lifting a large section of the roof when it crashed down because of the wind.
Three yellow flowers rest at the boots of the ironworkers statue dedicated to the workers who built this stadium and the three who died.
On a night that Miller Park sits silent the roar of ironworkers on Harley's fills the plaza outside the stadium.
They came to remember William DeGrave, Jerome Starr and Jeffrey Wischer.
"We worked with these guys," said Brent Grensavitch with Iron Workers Local 8. "They were close friends of ours. We camped, we boated together."
They also bonded on big projects and Miller Park was among the biggest. Workers had become concerned about safety during the big lifts and July 14th proved them right.
"We all felt as ironworkers that we believe that pick should not have happened that day," said Grensavitch. "I think we all now know why."
15 years later there have been a lot of good memories at Miller Park but as the heroes' wall reminds everyone, the memories of DeGrave, Starr and Wischer are alive in every part of Miller Park.
Robina Biesterfeld's ironworker dad William Reddie help build Miller Park. He quit three days before the crane collapse because of safety concerns. She hopes fans will never forget what happened here.
"Every time you walk up to Miller Park think about it," said Biesterfeld,"and just say prayers for them."
Prayers for a proud group of men and women.
"We are proud as ironworkers that we were part of building this," said Grensavitch.
The tragedy set the stadium's opening date back a year and cost $100 million in repairs.