(KCPW News) A strong advocate for downtown businesses in Salt Lake City was struck and killed by a Utah Transit Authority bus this morning. Police Sergeant Shawn Josephson says 82-year-old Richard Wirick, longtime owner of the Oxford Shop, was crossing 400 South at 200 East this morning at about 7:30 a.m. when the light changed as he was in the middle of the street.
“As the vehicle started to go westbound, the vehicles in the number one and number two lane stopped for Richard, but the bus that was in the number three lane, for some reason, continued, struck Mr. Wirick and pinned him beneath the bus,” he said.
Jason Mathis, Executive Director of the Downtown Alliance, says no one was a bigger champion for downtown than Wirick, who had seen its struggles and successes over many decades.
“He was so excited about the opening of City Creek Center and what that meant, the revitalization of Main Street has been something that he’s focused hours and hours of attention on over many decades, so it’s especially poignant, I think, that he would pass away now, just a few weeks before City Creek Center opens,” he told KCPW.
The shoe store owner was known as “Mr. Downtown” for his advocacy and work with the Downtown Merchants Association, Convention and Visitors Bureau and other groups.