Working around trains is dangerous. Most people who work around them have been properly trained about how to deal with certain situations. For one young woman, shooting a movie near train tracks ended in her death.
The accident happened on Feb. 20, 2014, in Wayne County. The crew was filming “Midnight Rider” along a 110-year-old bridge trestle that crosses the Altamaha River. The 20-person crew was told that if a train appeared, they would have 60 seconds to clear the tracks. Sadly, an unexpected train did appear while they were shooting and the young woman wasn’t able to clear the tracks.
The young woman was worried about the expensive camera equipment, but others told her to just leave it alone. Some members of the crew were trying to get a bed and mattress off the tracks, but were unable to. What happened next was a tragedy. The train hit the mattress and bed. Debris went flying and might have hit the woman. She may have been thrown under the train. Sadly, she was killed.
This event might have been able to have been prevented, notes the president of the Motion Picture Studio Mechanics union in Atlanta. He said that any work he has done around trains has involved railroad personnel being present.
The fatal accident is being investigated as a negligent homicide. It appears that basic safety protocols weren’t followed. CSX, the railroad company that owns the bridge trestle where the accident occurred said that the film crew was denied permission to be there. Additionally, there wasn’t an on-site medic present.
The investigations, which are being done by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, are ongoing. The deceased woman’s parents aren’t casting blame yet. Once the investigations are complete, they might decide to seek compensation for their daughter’s death.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter, “A Train, a Narrow Trestle and 60 Seconds to Escape: How ‘Midnight Rider’ Victim Sarah Jones Lost Her Life” Scott Johnson, Mar. 04, 2014