Angela Bassett Addresses Tragic Death of ‘9-1-1’ Crew Member Killed in Car Crash

Angela Bassett on red carpet
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Critics Choice Association

Angela Bassett paid her respects on Tuesday (May 14) following the sudden death of 9-1-1 crew member Rico Priem, who was killed in a car crash after working a long overnight shift.

The Golden Globe-winning actress commented on Priem’s passing during the Disney/ABC upfront event on Tuesday, where she told Entertainment Tonight, “The studio, 9-1-1, we all extend our deepest condolences to his friends to his family. It was just a very, very sad moment. We’re all rocked by it, certainly.”

Bassett, who plays LAPD patrol sergeant Athena Grant in the first responders drama, said it was the first time the cast and crew have faced a death of one of their own.

“We have births, you know, we have weddings, and now to experience this. We just had to take a moment, just take time and take a moment,” she explained. “We thought it was important to come together and have whatever bit of service and offer whatever we can do to his family because we know that we’ll miss him, but we know they will miss him even more.”

Priem, who worked as a grip on the ABC procedural, died in the early hours of Saturday (May 11) morning in a car accident after driving home from a 14-hour overnight on-location shoot in Pomona, California. According to the California Highway Patrol, Priem’s vehicle “left the roadway for unknown reasons, went up an embankment and flipped onto its roof.” He was pronounced dead at the scene.

“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 representative for 20th Television said in statement to ET.


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Several of the 9-1-1 cast and crew members spoke about the tragedy on social media, sending their tributes and condolences.

Aisha Hinds, who portrays Henrietta “Hen” Wilson on the show, wrote, “Words….ever insufficient…none able to carry the harrowing heartbreak reverberating through our 9-1-1 family.”

She added, “As the industry processes the passing of one of our invaluable and invested individuals—notably loyal, thus lauded and loved for his commitment to his craft and sharing the wisdom he’d gleaned from decades of working in this industry, hearts are heavy navigating feelings of grief and gratitude for the life of Rico Priem.”

Fellow grip Nina Moskol also wrote, “He was on the cusp of retirement, with his paperwork filed. He had his already rich life planned for retirement, including spending time with his wife, watching his grand-nephew grow, riding his beloved Harley, and even gripping still to stay connected to his friends. He was so jazzed about what he had learned about retiring, he wanted to teach the ins and outs of retirement at the local.”

Bassett also mentioned how the 9-1-1 cast and crew gathered to remember Priem, noting, “so many beautiful words were spoken of him.”

9-1-1, Thursdays, 8/7c, ABC