Police Report: 'Midnight Rider' Was Denied Permission to Film on Railroad
The Wayne County Sheriff's Office has released a report concerning the fatal accident where a train crashed into the set of "Midnight Rider" killing one crew and injuring others. The report suggests the movie's production might not have had a permission to shoot on the train tracks which are operated by CSX.
In the preliminary report, executive producer Jay Sedrish said, "That's complicated," when asked about the matter. "According to the CSX employee, the production company had previously been denied permission to film on the trestle, and there was electronic correspondence to verify that fact," the report further states.
27-year-old Sarah Elizabeth Jones, a second camera assistant, was identified as the victim killed in the accident. Director Randall Miller himself fell on the tracks but he was pulled to safety by a photographer. At least seven others were injured, including one who was airlifted to a local hospital due to serious injuries to her arm and wrist.
Rumor has it, among the injured victims are Joyce Gilliard and Izabeau Giannakopoulos who were taken to Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah, and Zachary Graber, James C. Dewet, Margery Kimbrough and Tonya Verna who were treated at Wayne Memorial Hospital. Their condition is not known. Sound mixer Richard Lightstone and his production sound team were also "banged up" but they are OK.
The accident happened when the crew members were shooting a dream sequence on the railroad. They reportedly arranged the set on the tracks above Altamaha River after two scheduled trains passed through the area. But when a third train unexpectedly came, they didn't have enough time to step away safely.
The train was unable to stop and hit the bed placed on the track for the filming. The debris hit the crew who frantically scrambled to safety, and one large piece hit Jones knocking her onto the tracks. "All of us on the production team are devastated by the tragic accident that happened today," a representative for the movie production says in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of our crew member."
The film depicts Gregg Allman's life story. William Hurt is cast to play the Allman Brothers member, and The All-American Rejects rocker Tyson Ritter is tapped as the musician in his younger years. Allman himself serves as a producer. It's unclear how the accident might affect the movie's future.
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