The accident that killed one crewmember and injured several others on the set of the Gregg Allman biopic Midnight Rider may not have been given proper permission to shoot, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Assistant camera operator Sarah Jones, 27, died after being struck by a train during the filming of a dream sequence. The crew had placed a bed on a railroad bridge for a scene involving two trains when a third train unexpectedly appeared, 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.
When executive producer Jay Sedrish was asked if the crew was given permission to shoot on the train tracks, he replied, “That’s complicated.” An incident report filed by Wayne County Sheriff’s Office and obtained by Savannah TV station WSAV notes that an email from CSX, the train operator involved in the accident, denied the group permission to film. “According to the CSX employee, the production company had previously been denied permission to film on the trestle,” said the report. “And there was electronic correspondence to verify that fact.”
Seven people were injured in the accident, but all are expected to make a full recovery.
Midnight Rider 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.