9-1-1 Crew Member Rico Priem Dead After Fatal Car Accident


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Disney/Justin Stephens

9-1-1 crew member Rico Priem died in a car crash after working a 14-hour shift on set of the ABC series.

Priem, who worked as a grip and crew member of International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 80, was driving after his shift ended on Saturday, May 11, when his Toyota Highlander left the road and flipped onto the roof, the California Highway Patrol told Variety.

Priem was pronounced dead at the scene and his identity was released by the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner. His death was also confirmed by IATSE.

“We are fully committed to the safety and the well-being of all our members and express our heartfelt condolences to the member’s family,” IATSE said in a statement. “Workers have a reasonable expectation that they can get to work and come home safely. No one should be put in unsafe circumstances while trying to earn a living.”

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Matt Loeb, president of IATSE, also released a statement in the wake of the tragedy. “Everyone in the IA family is shocked and deeply saddened by this tragic loss,” he said. “We are working to support our member’s family, their fellow members and colleagues. Safety in all aspects of the work our members do is our highest priority and we will assist in any investigation in any way that we can.”

The show’s studio, 20th Television, meanwhile, sent their “sincere and deepest condolences to Rico Priem’s family and friends.”

As for Priem’s fellow crew members, Nina Moskol, who also works as a grip on 9-1-1, paid tribute to her pal, whom she said she had worked with last week.

“He was on the cusp of retirement, with his paperwork filed. He had his already rich life planned for retirement, including spending time with his wife, watching his grand-nephew grow, riding his beloved Harley, and even gripping still to stay connected to his friends,” she wrote, per the Crew Stories Instagram account on Sunday, May 12. “He was so jazzed about what he had learned about retiring, he wanted to teach the ins and outs of retirement at the local.”

Moskol noted that the “two most dangerous parts” of the day are “getting to work and getting home.” She urged, “Please stay safe out there. Grip safe. Drive safe. Get off the road if needed. Take the room.”

Union members have been outspoken about length production hours for years, going on strike in 2021. The union ultimately won a 54-hour weekend rest period, with the goal of curbing late Friday shifts that extend until Saturday morning. The union’s current contract is up on July 31, and IATSE is currently negotiating its Basic Agreement with studios, which is scheduled to conclude later this month.

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