All UTA buses, trains to stop briefly Saturday as slain employee laid to rest

Posted at 3:12 PM, May 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-27 23:24:18-04

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Transit Authority will have a brief service stand down at noon Saturday in conjunction with funeral services for a UTA employee, and Friday loved ones spoke about how his family is coping with the tragic loss.

Kay Ricks, who performs maintenance for UTA, vanished during his shift on May 12, and his body was found in Wyoming five days later.

Saturday’s service stand down is not expected cause any notable delays, according to a press release from UTA. Train and bus operators will read a brief message before service resumes.

UTA will also be running all of their vehicles with their headlights on for Friday and Saturday, and flags on UTA property will be at half-staff both days from sunrise to sundown.

The press release from UTA states: “Thank you for your understanding as the entire UTA family wishes to honor our fellow employee. UTA continues to express its sincere condolences and support to Kay's family. He will be greatly missed."

Friends, family and anyone else who wishes to come will be gathering Friday night and Saturday for funeral services. Family friend Justin Jones said loved ones are turning to their faith during this difficult time.

"They're doing well as can be expected, of course they did not ever expect to be in a position to have to attend the funeral of their husband, father, and grandfather," Jones said. "But, ultimately, they take great comfort in their faith, knowing that they'll see him again."

Ricks leaves behind a wife of more than 40 years, three sons and their wives, and six grandchildren.

"Throughout this whole event, the most distressing time was when they didn't know where Kay was," Jones said. "I was with Lori when she found out they had found Kay's body, and, for her, understanding that she wouldn't see him alive again was hard, but she took great comfort in knowing that he was in a happier and better place."

A viewing will be held from 6:30-9:00 p.m. Friday at the Anderson Mortuary in American Fork.

A funeral is scheduled for noon Saturday at the LDS Stake Center at 688 West and 500 North in American Fork.

While police are investigating possible connections between Ricks' death and the flight of two fugitives from Utah, the Ricks family says they are focusing on the positive memories of their loved one and not the police investigation.