The mayor who led Cedar City through a difficult period of economic transition died Wednesday after a car crash.

Robert Linford, 84, ran a stop sign at the intersection of 1100 West and 600 South, and was struck on the driver's side by an oncoming car, said Cedar City Police Sgt. Jerry Womack.

Just after 7 a.m., Linford was taken by ambulance to Valley View Medical Center, where he died around 1 p.m. No one else was seriously injured during the crash, police said.

Linford was mayor of Cedar City from 1982 to 1989, and was responsible for rebuilding the city's floundering economy, said current Cedar City Mayor Gerald Sherratt.

Just a year before Linford took office, the iron mines west of Cedar City were shuttered, and with them the region's primary economy of the past 75 years, Sherratt said.

"We went from one of the five wealthiest counties in Utah to one of the bottom five," he said.

Linford worked closely with Sherratt, then president of Southern Utah University, to incorporate the school further into the community. Linford was also responsible for bringing in several major companies, creating an economic development office and building an industrial park, Sherratt said.

"I think we'll never be able to repay him for what he did," he said.

Linford, a hobby gardener, oversaw beautification efforts throughout the city. He served on the city's planning commission until he stepped down earlier this year. Along with his wife, Linford also taught ballroom dance classes in the community.

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