Thursday’s shocking train collision that left camera assistant Sarah Jones dead and several others injured on the set of Open Road’s Midnight Rider is still under investigation in Jesup, Georgia outside of Savannah. According to the Wayne County Sheriff’s department, the collision site on the Doctortown train trestle is being treated as a crime scene and an autopsy on Jones was conducted today with results to come. A 20-person crew based out of Savannah’s Meddin Studios had been filming the Gregg Allman biopic under Midnight Rider director Randall Miller when a northbound CSX Railroad train ran through, fatally striking Jones. Open Road is set as distributor on the film from Miller and co-scribe/producer Jody Savin’s L.A.-based Unclaimed Freight Productions. Monday afternoon President Steven Poster, ASC of IATSE Local 600 International Cinematographers Guild, of which Jones was a member, issued a statement on the fatal accident and the Locals 600 and 491’s ongoing investigation with OSHA, NTSB, and local authorities:
“Local 600’s membership and IATSE members across the country are mourning the loss of Sarah Jones, a 27-year old camera assistant, who died in a tragic accident last Thursday while shooting on the set of “Midnight Rider” in Savannah, Georgia. Sarah was a smart, talented camera assistant with an infectious personality and a promising career ahead of her.”
“When Locals 600 and 491 received the call about the accident on late Thursday afternoon (local time), we immediately sent representatives to the site. We are cooperating with ongoing government investigations including OSHA, and NTSB and the Local Sheriff’s office and we are providing grief counseling for the crew.“
“The safety of our crews is of paramount importance to this union and we will work tirelessly to ensure that a tragedy of this kind never happens again.There is no way we can mitigate the pain and the loss of Sarah. But we hope that something good can come out of this very unfortunate situation. It will surely shape our talks with producers in the future. There will be memorials across the country to honor the memory of beloved member, Sarah Jones.”
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