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Saturday, February 6, 2016

David Wichs Frum Jew is the Victim of crane collapse in NYC

Daved with wife Rebecca

The 38-year-old Upper West Sider killed Friday when a massive crane fell on him was a bright, Harvard-trained math whiz, a family member said.
David Wichs’ sister-in-law, Lisa Guttman, described her loved one as “the most brilliant person ever,” adding that he was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, and immigrated to the United States as a teenager.
He seized every chance he had to get ahead and graduated from Harvard University, where he majored in mathematics.
“He really created a life for himself,” Guttman said through tears. “He literally took every opportunity he could find.”
Wichs died instantly when the 565-foot crane came crashing down on him as he stood on Worth Street. He was working at the New York-based financial trading firm Tower Research Capital.
Wichs lived with his wife, Rebecca Guttman, on West 81st Street. They wed in 2013, according to records, and Guttman is currently an associate at the international law firm Proskauer Rose LLP.
She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2004 before attending the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, her LinkedIn page shows.
“He was an angel. An absolute angel,” a man who identified himself as the family’s rabbi said as he left the couple’s apartment.
“He was a wonderful, wonderful person, the best, the absolute best. And that makes the tragedy so much greater.”
Friends and family streamed through the couple’s home throughout the day, and at one point police officers dropped off Wichs’ parents, who declined to comment.
A colleague who stopped by said he was still in shock that his generous, well-regarded friend was gone.
“Everyone who knew him loved him,” he said.
“I can’t believe it. It’s unbelievable. There was no one like him. He was unique and special. He was a very giving person.”
While at Harvard, Wichs co-chaired a men’s group that was part of the campus Hillel, a Jewish organization for college students.
“The Men’s Group is informal . . . a bunch of friends that do things together,” he said during an interview with The Harvard Crimson in 1998.
“It’s good for the kids who participate . . . people don’t have to feel awkward about their upbringing.”
Wichs and his wife were members of Kehilath Jeshurun, a modern Orthodox congregation on the Upper East Side, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
He was a donor to several charities, including Avodah, Mazon and Teach for America, the agency ­reported.
Meanwhile, Dawn Kojima, 45, of Clifton, NJ, suffered a head and leg injury during the crane collapse. She’s married and works for The Gap, according to her Facebook page.
She attended the Fashion Institute of Technology, the page shows.
Kojima was transferred to New York-Presbyterian/Lower Manhattan Hospital, where she was in stable condition, police said.
Thomas O’Brien, 73, also sustained a head injury when the crane fell on his car. He was hospitalized in stable condition. O’Brien, who records show hails from North Easton, Mass., was in the city with his daughter when he was injured.
A firefighter sustained minor ­injuries in the accident.  

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