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'Midnight Rider' Filmmakers Charged For Involuntary Manslaughter for Death of Sarah Jones

Photo of Eric Eidelstein By Eric Eidelstein | Indiewire July 3, 2014 at 2:21PM

Last February, Sarah Jones, a crew member working on the Gregg Allman biopic "Midnight Rider," lost her life after being struck by a freight train. Now, months later, some of the filmmakers behind the project have been charged with involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespass.
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Sarah Jones 'Midnight Rider"
Sarah Jones

Last February, Sarah Jones, a crew member working on the Gregg Allman biopic "Midnight Rider," lost her life after being struck by a freight train. The accident, which spawned a series of debates over the unspoken dangers crew members face, also led to actor William Hurt's departure from the project. Now, months later, some of the filmmakers behind the project have been charged with involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespass.

READ MORE: 'Midnight Rider' Wrongful Death Case in the Works After On-Set Death of Sarah Jones

The lawsuit was filed by Georgia's Wayne Superior Court. If convicted, director Randall Miller, his wife, producer Jody Savin and unit production manager and executive producer Jay Sedrish may face a 10-year prison sentence for the manslaughter and a possible 12 months for the criminal trespass. The filmmakers have also faced numerous other lawsuits, including a wrongful death suit by Jones' parents. 

On set, the crew had been waiting for two trains to pass by before placing a metal hospital bed onto a bridge. The scene was being set up for Hurt, who was supposed to film a dream sequence.  When an unanticipated third train approached, some of the crew members attempted to move the bed off the tracks and save the camera equipment. Unfortunately they didn't make it off the tracks in time, leading to the death of Jones and injury of a few others. 

As of now, "Midnight Rider," which was to be distributed by Open Road Films, has halted production.


This article is related to: Sarah Jones, Midnight Rider, Midnight Rider: The Gregg Allman Story, Gregg Allman, Open Road Films, Randall Miller, Jody Savin







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