‘9-1-1’ Crew Member Rico Priem Died From Cardiac Event After 14-Hour Shoot, Medical Examiner Says

The cause of death for late “9-1-1” crew member Rico Priem has been confirmed to be cardiac arrest one month after his fatal crash.

Priem was involved in a freeway accident back in May while driving home from a 14-hour shift on set. His car “left the roadway for unknown reasons, went up an embankment and flipped onto its roof,” according to media reports. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

It was previously presumed that the accident may have been the result of sleep deprivation alone due to his lengthy shift, but the official autopsy report has confirmed this was not the case.

The autopsy released by the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s office Tuesday stated that Priem died of a “sudden cardiac dysfunction” and preexisting cardiomegaly, per reports. His manner of death has been classified as natural.

Following his passing, Priem’s nephew Timothy Moriarty started a Gofundme page for his uncle. The fundraiser noted that the day of the accident was the ABC grip’s second 14-hour work day in a row.

“Rico was an absolute legend in the film and 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 … 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,” Moriarty shared.

Since the page launched, it has raised over $63,000 for funeral expenses and to support his wife. “9-1-1” stars Peter Krause, Kenneth Choi and Aisha Hinds all donated in his honor.

Priem was a part of IATSE Local 80. Additionally, he was very close to retirement at the time of his death and had already filled out the paperwork.

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