The close-knit Irish community in Woodlawn and Yonkers is in a state of shock over Friday’s tragic death of Trevor Loftus, a 40-year-old native of Limerick and successful businessman who was killed in Midtown Manhattan by a malfunctioning crane at a building site.

Loftus, a native of Pallaskenry, Co. Limerick, was the owner of the Yonkers-based Kenry Contracting, a company he started in 2004 which specialized in commercial buildings throughout the greater New York area. His company was employed to work on the construction of the new 35-story Even Hotel on East 44th Street, where Loftus was crushed on Friday after the crane on his flatbed truck malfunctioned and fell on top of him as he was unloading supplies.

"The hydraulics malfunctioned and the victim was caught between the knuckle boom and the flatbed itself. When we came on the scene, he was trapped in there," said FDNY Deputy Chief Joseph Carlsen.

"The only thing we do know is he was killed between the boom [crane] and the apparatus itself.”

Loftus was married to Fiona Loftus and was the father of two daughters, Zoe and Lauren. His wife and children were based in Croagh, Co. Limerick, where he recently bought a house. Loftus commuted between New York and Limerick on a regular basis, and he recently purchased a pub in the village of Kilfinny.

Loftus had a countless number of friends in the local Woodlawn-Yonkers Irish community, in addition to a brother, Darren, and a close cousin, Ian Gibbs. A long-time friend, Peter Cummins, who works at Moriarty’s bar and restaurant on McLean Avenue in Yonkers, said the sense of loss is palpable.

“Trevor would always help anyone who came out from Ireland, and especially if they were from Limerick,” Cummins told the Irish Voice.

“He was such a good man. He would do everything humanly possible to help anyone. And he just adored his wife and daughters.”

Cummins, from Kilmallock, Co. Limerick, stayed with Loftus’s sister-in-law when he first came to New York in 2005.

“People are inconsolable. I met people who work with him and they just don’t know what to say. He was more than a boss. He was their friend too,” Cummins said.

Loftus was actively involved in fundraising for various Irish community causes, and was a supporter of Pieta House, the Irish suicide prevention center that will open an office in New York in September. Loftus was a guest at a party in the Irish Consulate last month to launch Pieta House’s Darkness Into Light fundraiser on May 9.

He was also a strong supporter of the undocumented and was a regular attendee at Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform (ILIR) meetings. “That was Trevor, always caring for others,” said Cummins.

“I remember him at one ILIR meeting in the Bronx where Senator John McCain spoke. There he was, getting up and asking questions even though he didn’t have visa problems himself. It was just very important to him that the undocumented problem should be solved.”

Loftus was mourned by many on Facebook, including the Ulster Hurling Club of New York which he supported.

“Very sad news to hear about Trevor Loftus today. He was a great man for the club be it attending fundraisers or giving lads work. He helped us no end since we started up,” a club statement said.

Loftus was waked on Tuesday at the Hodder & Son funeral home on Tuesday in Yonkers. His body was returned to Ireland for burial at the Holy Trinity Church in Adare, Co. Limerick.

In addition to his wife and daughters, Loftus is survived by his mother, three brothers, and many nieces, nephews and in-laws.

Trevor Loftus pictured at a Pieta House event at the Irish Consulate in New York on April 10.Nuala Purcell