Though it was recently renewed for a ninth season, production of NCIS has been halted following the tragic death of Julio Garcia on its set. In a scene that could have been straight from the CBS crime drama itself, the 52-year-old security guard was securing a stage for the show around 10 a.m. last week. Then all of a sudden a van spun out of control and hit him before slamming into two parked cars. After being rushed to the hospital, Garcia, sadly, died.
NCIS has suspended production until an investigation has been completed. CBS said in a statement:
Everyone at the network, the studio, and NCIS is devastated by the news. Our hearts grieve for his family and friends for this tragic loss. We are, of course, cooperating with the local authorities in Santa Clarita to help determine what caused this terrible accident
So what did happen?
According to police reports, the driver, Ralph Blunt, 60, suffered some kind of medical condition that made him black out. There's no speculation at this point that any kind of foul play was involved. It just sounds like a senseless, awful accident.
There's no word as to how long an investigation will take and what if anything it will mean for the show's schedule.
Such a tragic tale all the way around -- for Garcia's family who has lost him, for Blunt who is surely dealing with incredible amounts of guilt and grief, and for the entire NCIS family who mourns the loss of one of their own.
Thoughts and best wishes to all of them.
Image via CBS.com