‘9-1-1’ Crew Member Killed In Car Accident After 14-Hour Overnight Shift

A 9-1-1 crew member died on Saturday in a freeway accident following a 14-hour shift on the ABC procedural.

Rico Priem was a grip and a member of IATSE Local 80. His death was confirmed by the union, as well as the show’s studio, 20th Television.

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In a memo to one of the IATSE locals, leadership wrote that Priem had wrapped production around 4 a.m. on Saturday. The accident occurred while he was driving home to Woodland Hills from the shoot location in Pomona.

According to TVLine, California Highway Patrol provided more details on the circumstances of the crash. Officials reported that the accident occurred around 4:27 a.m.

Priem was reportedly 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. Priem was pronounced dead at the scene.” The cause of the accident is being investigated.

“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.”

In a statement of his own, IATSE President Matthew D. Loeb added: “Everyone in the IA family is shocked and deeply saddened by this tragic loss. 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.”

Lengthy production hours have been an ongoing issue that crew members have sought to address for years. Drowsy driving after these shoots have led to a number of accidents, including in 2017 when actor KJ Apa was involved in an accident after filming Riverdale.

IATSE members took up this issue during 2021 contract bargaining, and the union appears to be prioritizing rest periods between shoot days once again during the current negotiations.

“On behalf of the studio and everyone at 9-1-1, we send our sincere and deepest condolences to Rico Priem’s family and friends,” a spokesperson for 20th Television, the show’s studio, said in a statement.

A spokesperson from the AMPTP said in a statement to Deadline: “Our hearts go out to Rico Priem’s family, friends, and all of those who are impacted by this tragic loss of life.”

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