'Midnight Rider' Exec Producer Jay Sedrish Due in Court on August 21
Jay Sedrish, the executive producer of "Midnight Rider", is set to be arraigned on August 21. Along with director Randall Miller and his producer wife Jody Savin, he is charged with involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespass in the fatal train crash that killed camera assistant Sarah Jones. They are facing 10 years in prison for the former and a potential one year in jail for the latter charge if convicted.
Miller and Savin have entered a not guilty plea. "In the weeks and months that follow when the true facts of the events are revealed, people will know that this was not a crime: we never had criminal intent; we would never knowingly or intentionally put anybody's safety at risk. This was a horrible tragedy and a horrific accident," they said.
The movie about Gregg Allman's life story is currently in limbo. Actor William Hurt, who was initially attached to portray The Allman Brothers Band member, left the project following the tragic accident.
Jones was killed and several others were injured when the crew members were filming a dream sequence on railroad tracks along a trestle over the Altamaha River in Wayne County. They didn't have enough time to get off the tracks safely when a train came barreling through the crowd.
The fatal accident prompted calls for the industry to improve on-set safety. The efforts to launch cohesive safety programs include a crowd-funded application initiated by a group of anonymous people in TV and film industries. Deadline learns that they set up a pledge on Indiegogo to seek $3,400 in funds to develop and host of the free app that will allow any industry worker to anonymously report unsafe working conditions or excessive work hours.
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