Purchase? Was the crash before or after settlement time? etc
I suspect the lawyers will indeed be doing some work. I would presume that the crane company would be legally responsible for the losses involved but it might take a lot of legal stoushing to get to that point (and then there's the question of whether they have the money to pay up).
What a shame for all concerned. Your colleague must be very disappointed, especially as they were just about to get a new home.