UFC's Macy Chiasson speaks out on deadly crane collapse: 'This could have been prevented'
Aside from her dog, a leash and her cell phone, “The Ultimate Fighter 28” winner Macy Chiasson lost all of her belongings when a crane collapsed through her Dallas apartment building Sunday.
That includes the trophy she won on the reality show, signed posters from all her UFC fights, family photos, and other keepsakes she kept after moving to the city from New Orleans.
“This could have been prevented,” Chiasson told MMA Junkie. “People don’t realize how bad it was. Unless you were there, you don’t understand the suffering people went through.”
A construction crane stopped just short of puncturing Chiasson’s home after it snapped in a thunderstorm. A 29-year-old woman, Kiersten Smith, was killed and five were injured. Chiasson is filing a lawsuit against the company that owns the crane, the contractor that operated it and her apartment complex after suffering cuts while running through glass to get to safety.
Bigge Crane and Rigging Co., the company that owned the crane, has been cited by OSHA for 18 safety violations over the past decade, according to Dallas NBC affiliate KXAS-TV.
Chiasson, 27, initially sought refuge in the apartment complex’s lobby, then walked to her gym Fortis MMA, which is two blocks away from the accident site. Her time since the accident has been filled with media interviews and meetings with her attorneys.
Chiasson will relocate to New Orleans with her parents for a few weeks and then plans to head back to Dallas. All of her personal documents – passport, license and other cards – are lost to the accident and need to be replaced back home.
The UFC has offered Chiasson help by “arranging to get me taken care of, as far as gear goes and whatnot,” she said.
“I’m very fortunate to work with a company that has my back through thick and thin,” Chiasson said. “They’re doing the best they can. There’s only so much we can do day by day.”
Before she left, Chiasson still managed to get in a little training by working around her foot injury. She and her team are targeting a September return. She won’t let recent events keep her sidelined for long.
“As far as being able to fight next week, for sure,” she said. “But we already have a specific time in mind.”
According to a copy of Chiasson’s lawsuit, she seeks over $1 million, including punitive damages “to be awarded against the defendants in a sum that is not less than three times the amount of the Plaintiff’s actual damages.”
Bigge Crane and Rigging Co. issued a statement after the accident: “Bigge Crane and Rigging Co. is saddened by the accident involving one of its tower cranes that collapsed at a construction site during Sunday’s storm in Dallas. Tragically, it was confirmed by emergency responders that there was one fatality and others were injured. Our thoughts and prayers are with those directly impacted by this incident, their families and loved ones, and with those who suffered property damage.”
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