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Crewmember on Gregg Allman Biopic Killed in Accident

Multiple injuries also reported from train crash on 'Midnight Rider'

February 21, 2014 1:20 PM ET
Gregg Allman
Gregg Allman
Rick Diamond/GABB14/Getty Images for Blackbird Productions

A second camera assistant was killed and multiple others injured during the shooting of Midnight Rider, the upcoming biopic based on the life of Allman Brothers Band founding member Gregg Allman, according to The Wrap.

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The accident happened Thursday afternoon in Wayne County, Ga. during the filming of a dream sequence involving two trains. The crew had placed a mattress on a railroad bridge when a third train unexpectedly appeared, forcing crewmembers, including director Randall Miller, to remove the mattress while 20 people on set rushed off the tracks.

According to Variety, one eyewitness said that everyone involved had less than a minute to react, with the train striking and killing the camera assistant as others tried to reach a safe walkway. The train hit the bed, causing debris to injure several members of the crew.

The eyewitness also claimed that Miller had fallen onto the tracks, with a still photographer pulling him off the tracks and saving his life.

CSX, the train operator involved in the accident, released the following statement: "CSX is deeply saddened by a tragedy that occurred late today on a CSX rail bridge in Doctortown, Ga., and is cooperating fully with authorities as they investigate. Initial reports indicate that at least three people were injured, one fatally. CSX personnel are working with first responders to meet the needs of those injured. A train was en route from Memphis to Savannah when the incident occurred."

A publicist for the film said in a statement, "All of us on the production team are devastated by the tragic accident that happened today. Our thoughts are prayers are with the family of our crew member."

It's unclear if the accident will delay production of Midnight Rider, which stars William Hurt as Allman and All-American Rejects frontman Tyson Ritter as a younger version of the acclaimed musician.

The film is based on My Cross to Bear, Allman's 2012 biography co-written with Alan Light. Allman is serving as executive director on the film, and in a recent interview with Rolling Stone, he noted that he has veto rights on the script and is working hard to ensure that the film gets the story right.

"The first script they handed me just wasn’t us," he said. "They had me and [Duane] talking at one point and it was too many 'Fuck you's' in there and there shouldn't have been any. But they're working on it, and it'll be changed as we go along."

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