MythBusters’ Erik Gates Dies in Freak Accident
Erik Gates, who has been featured on the Discovery Channel’s MythBusters, was killed in a freak accident last week. He was 47. According to the Ventura County Star, Gates fell through a skylight on Sunday December 21 in the afternoon, dying from blunt force chest injuries. The cause of death was announced after an autopsy.
Gates owned electric company Gateco Electric in Thousand Oaks, California. He was walking across the roof before he fell through the skylight in the Xirrus Inc. building in Newbury Park, coroner’s officials said. Gates was doing contract work for Xirrus Inc. Gate’s brother, Dirk Gates, is the president and CEO of Xirrus.
“He was a good guy,” said Steve DeGennaro, Xirrus Inc.’s co-founder and CFO. “He survived cancer, he jumps with parachutes, he base jumps. He’s an active guy who was used to taking precautions. This was a freak accident that shouldn’t have happened.”
Gates fell about 30 feet, said a spokesman for California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health. The coroner’s investigation and examination of the body showed it was an accident. However, officials are not sure how Gates fell because the co-worker who was there with him had his back turned to him at the time of the fall.
In addition to working on several episodes of MythBusters, Gates, a married father of three, was also active in rocketry, and he and his brother maintained a website chronicling their hobby. Gates studied at Moorpark College and was an avid skydiver.