Cast of "9-1-1'" at FYC Red Carpet Event

'9-1-1' Crew Member Dies Of Heart Attack After Grueling 14-Hour Shift

Home / News / '9-1-1' Crew Member Dies Of Heart Attack After Grueling 14-Hour Shift

By Kelly Coffey-Behrens on June 19, 2024 at 2:45 PM EDT

Rico Priem, 66, tragically lost his life driving home from a 14-hour work day on the set of "9-1-1."That was his second consecutive 14-hour day for the production company.

He worked as a grip and a member of Local 80, whose TV credits included “Major Crimes,” “Deadwood,” and “Six Feet Under.” He most recently worked on the ABC drama "9-1-1" and was involved in a car accident on the highway after working on location in Pomona, California.

A few weeks after the news broke, "9-1-1" crew member Rico Priem's cause of death has been revealed.

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Rico Priem Passes Away Following 14-Hour Shift

9-1-1 crew member Rico Priem

According to Deadline, the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner confirmed that Rico Priem suffered from a "sudden cardiac dysfunction and had cardiomegaly (enlarged heart) with left ventricle hypertrophy. "

The outlet reported that Priem was driving north on the 57 Freeway at Via Verde Drive in San Dimas when his vehicle “left the roadway for unknown reasons, went up an embankment and flipped onto its roof.”

His manner of death is ruled as natural.

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Los Angeles County Medical Examiner Releases Statement

After the tragic accident, IATSE released a statement saying, “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."

"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," it continued.

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GoFundMe Started For The Late '9-1-1' Crew Member

Following the news, Tim Moriarty, Rico Priem's nephew, started a GoFundMe to raise donations for his Uncle's memorial services and wife.

"On May 11, 2024, Rico tragically lost his life driving home from a 14-hour work day," Moriarty wrote in the GoFundMe's description. "This was his second consecutive 14-hour day for the production company filming the TV show '9-1-1.' After working from Friday at 2 p.m. until 4:10 a.m. Saturday morning, less than 20 minutes from his departure from crew parking, his car was found rolled over on northbound 57 in San Dimas. Rico was pronounced dead on the scene."

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Who Was Rico Priem?

Tim Moriarty described his Uncle as "an absolute legend in the film & motion picture industry."

"Many have told me he was hands down the best in the business at his job. He always made sure to take care of all of his crew members, as well as connect with everyone that was working around him on set," Moriarty wrote. "He could tell you stories for days, and his connection ran so deep with all of the people's hearts he has touched! It truly was an honor to work with him side by side, and I know everyone else who has worked with him feels the same."

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"A heart of gold and a work ethic as strong as a rock, Rico served 30 years in the business with over 75,000 hours under his belt. Filing his paperwork only a few weeks prior, Rico was ready to enjoy his retirement and planning to still work in the business to keep in contact with all of his friends and loved ones in the industry," he added.

Tributes Pour In

After learning the news, many took to social media to pay tribute to the late "9-1-1" crew member. "No no no. What a loss. Such a sweet man," one user, who knew Priem, wrote. "Way too soon. We worked together for years in 'Major Crimes'."

Another individual said, "Rico was the best. I worked with him for years and just recently worked with him again. I just can’t believe this! He told me all about his retirement plans. I’m just in shock and so sad. Condolences to his family and friends."

"We were just speaking a few months ago about his plans for retirement that he was so looking forward to.. I'm going to miss you, Rico," a third said. "My condolences to his family."

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Rest In Peace, Rico Priem

One social media user who also knew Rico Priem left a heartfelt tribute for the late "9-1-1" crew member.

"I worked with Rico for years. He taught me a lot of what the crew goes through and the specifics of individual jobs," they wrote. "Made me understand exactly how we actually make movies. The nuts and bolts. The real stuff. In my early days as a junior producer, he always took care of me. Showed me the way. Protected me. I’m heartbroken."

"Rico was a legend. Totally surreal that we just worked together one week and he’s gone the next," another wrote.

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