Owner of Utah Sign Company Dies in Work Accident

The owner of a Salt Lake City sign company died in an accident last month while taking down a business sign in Bountiful, Utah.

Richard Gillies, 66, owner of Signs and Design Inc., was replacing a sign at an out-of-business Blockbuster store at about 11:30 a.m. when the truck-mounted crane apparently malfunctioned, according to South Davis Metro Fire Assistant Chief Ed Biehler.

Gillies was in the bucket of a cherry picker, while his son operated the machine, Biehler said.

“He thought his dad was stuck so he went to the controls to move or get the cherry picker to move and it moved forward and pinned (Gillies) against the building,” Biehler said.

The cherry picker continued to move and then it hit the front part of the building and that is when Gillies fell from the bucket to the ground, Biehler stated.

When Gillies’ son, a man in his 30s, attempted to maneuver the crane from below, there was an additional malfunction which pressed Gillies up against an overhanging façade and then flung him forward toward the building, Biehler said.

Gillies was crushed against the building and fell 10-15 feet from the bucket to the ground.

Other workers inside the building, which is being turned into a fitness club, performed CPR on Gillies until emergency personnel arrived.

He was flown to University of Utah Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, Biehler said.

According to the company website, Gillies was involved in the sign business for more than 35 years.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Bountiful police detectives are investigating the accident to determine if it was a mechanical or operator failure.  Members of the state Medical Examiner’s office were also at the scene of the accident, Biehler said.

Feel free to comment about this horrific accident. For more information, contact a Gacovino Lake attorney at 1-800-246-HURT (4878).

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