****** Updated at 9:28 PM 8/16/2012*****************
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - The following news release was sent out Thursday evening by the Utah AFL-CIO:
August 16, 2012 Salt Lake City, UT–– Jim Judd, President of the Utah AFL-CIO, passed away Thursday due to injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident in Missoula, Montana. The Utah AFL-CIO sends out its heartfelt thoughts and prayers to Jim's family and friends. He was our beloved leader, who has made a difference in the lives of his co-workers and all workers across Utah.
Judd, who was also the Utah Democratic Party Vice Chair, had been an avid motorcycle rider, and was participating in the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) motorcycle rally at the time of the crash.
According to the Montana Highway Patrol, the crash occurred at approximately 8:30 Thursday morning.
Reportedly, the accident occurred at mile marker 52 on I-15, about 50 miles north of the Idaho border.
Again, according to the Montana Highway Patrol, Judd's motorcycle drifted from the left hand lane into the
Judd's bike then rolled and he was ejected.
The Highway Patrol there also says he was not wearing a helmet.
Utah Democratic Party statement
Thursday night, the Utah Democratic Party issued the following statement:
UTAH DEMOCRATS MOURN OUR FRIEND, JIM JUDD.
Salt Lake City - It is with heavy hearts that we confirm reports that Jim has sustained severe injuries in a motorcycle accident in Montana, and is likely not to recover. Jim had an immeasurable impact on our state, and his loss will be felt by all who have met him. Jim was not one to trumpet his own accomplishments, so it falls to us on this sad day to share a bit about the extraordinary man we are losing.
As president of the Utah AFL-CIO and vice-chair of the Utah State Democratic Party, Jim often spoke of being inspired by his family, particularly his sixteen grandchildren, to make Utah a better place and stand up on behalf of Utah’s working families. He was a leader, famous for his wise words, distinctive mustache, and his fantastic sense of humor. He was a great mentor, and many within the labor community and the Democratic Party have deeply valued the time they spent with him. He was an inspiring leader, a giver of great advice, a gifted public speaker, and someone we could always count on for a measured and wise response. He thought before he spoke, an increasing rarity in an era of quick-flash sound bites, and he never lost sight of what was important.
As a firefighter, Jim served Ogden’s community since 1977. There are thousands who are safe due to his service. Following his retirement from active service, Jim taught in the fire science program at Utah Valley University, sharing what he had learned about fires and how to fight them. He had been in Montana attending the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) motorcycle rally at the time of his accident.
As a union man for over forty years, Jim was passionately committed to ensuring that Utah’s workers got a fair shake. He spent thousands of hours at the Utah Legislature, working with Democrats and Republicans to ensure that we honored our commitments to our working families. He was deeply respected by those on both sides of the aisle, and we will all miss his passion and vast experience.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Jim's family, especially his wife, Jill, his six children, sixteen grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.