Draper painter dies nearly a week after falling off scaffolding
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A 60-year-old painter who fell off two stories of scaffolding while on the job earlier this mont, has died of his injuries.

James Milton Riches, of Draper, had been fighting for his life after falling on Aug. 1 from an 11-foot scaffolding while painting a garage in Bluffdale.

Saratoga Springs police confirmed Saturday afternoon the man involved in an accident back on Aug. 1 had died at the hospital.

"It was an industrial accident," said Saratoga Springs police Cpl. Shane Taylor.

Police did not officially release Riches' name, but an obituary appeared Saturday in conjunction with his funeral that states Riches died on Tuesday surrounded by his family and loved ones.

Riches was a "die hard" University of Utah fan and was the owner and operator of Jim Riches Painting, according to his obituary. He always liked to be outdoors with his family.

A funeral service was held Saturday morning in Draper. Rather than flowers, the family is requesting donations be made in Jim Riches name at any U of U Credit Union.

On Aug. 1 , Riches was taken to Intermountain Medical Center in Murray by AirMed in critical condition just after 3:30 p.m., after falling from the two-tier scaffold and hitting his head on concrete, according to Taylor.

The subcontractor was painting a two-story garage for a homeowner near 1625 Lois Meadow Court in Bluffdale.

Taylor confirmed Riches had a cut to the head and was bleeding out other areas of his head.

"He did strike his head at one point during the fall," Taylor said, but didn't know exactly how the man landed.

It is unknown if Riches was wearing a hard hat prior to the fall, but Taylor said OSHA is investigating as police continued to interview other construction workers about the accident.

cimaron@sltrib.com

Twitter: @CimCity