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Utah sign company owner killed when crane malfunctions

Published November 1, 2013 10:46 pm

Man was replacing sign in Bountiful when equipment malfunctioned.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The owner of a West Valley City sign company was killed Friday morning while working from a cherry picker crane in Bountiful.

Richard Gillies, 66, of Gillies Signs & Design Inc., was replacing a sign at an out-of-business Blockbuster store near 500 South and 200 West at about 11:30 a.m. when the truck-mounted crane apparently malfunctioned, according to Assistant Bountiful Police Chief Ed Biehler.

Gillies was in the bucket of the crane when the problem occurred, Biehler said.

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 facade and then flung him forward toward the building, Biehler said.

Gilles was crushed against the building and fell from the bucket to the ground 10 to 15 feet below, Biehler said.

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

Gillies was flown to University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Officials from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration were investigating the accident, and members of the state medical examiner's office also were at the scene, Bielher said.

According to his company website, Richard Gillies has been in the sign business for over 35 years.

shunt@sltrib.com