John Stephens, crane contractor, arrested for ‘unlawful’ death of two men in Georgia

The crane contractor who died in Georgia while working on a crane that collapsed while the owner was away is facing criminal charges in the death of the two men.

John Stephens, a crane contractor with Stephens Construction, was arrested Wednesday for two counts of murder and four counts of involuntary manslaughter, the US Attorney’s Office in Atlanta said.

It said Stephens was arrested in a Georgia motel room after being stopped by a police officer after failing to turn over his work at the facility in Augusta.

A statement released by the office said Stephens and two of his colleagues were “unlawfully present” when the crane collapsed at Crane Park in March 2017, killing two people and injuring five others.

In a news release issued after the arrests, the office called the incident “one of the most tragic events to occur in Georgia history.”

The two men died of their injuries in January 2018.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is conducting a criminal investigation into the incident.

The US attorney’s office said it is reviewing the death and said it “is confident that the criminal proceedings will result in the conviction of the individuals involved.”

The crane’s owner, Matthew Stephens, was out of the country at the time of the incident and has since returned to the US.