Collapse on June 5, 2013 in Center City Philadelphia killed 6 and injured 13 people

Wife: Backhoe Operator is ‘Scapegoat’

Friday, Jul 26, 2013  |  Updated 10:49 AM EDT
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Wife: Backhoe Operator is ‘Scapegoat’

Sean Benschop, 42, was operating a backhoe on the site of Wednesday's deadly building collapse. Sources say blood and urine tests found illegal drugs and prescription narcotics in his system.

The wife of a demolition subcontractor jailed on charges he caused a June 5 building collapse that killed six people in Philadelphia says her husband is a “scapegoat.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports Tynisha Gregory-Benschop's comments offer a possible preview to the defense he'll offer to charges of involuntary manslaughter.

She contends 43-year-old Sean Benschop was merely a “day laborer” working without a contract when he knocked down a wall with heavy equipment that collapsed onto a neighboring thrift store. Prosecutors have said he was operating the equipment under the influence of marijuana.

But his attorney, Daine Grey, argues that Benschop was ultimately “not in charge of safety at the site.”

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams is conducting a grand jury probe of the accident.

 

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