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Jury Awards Millions to Family of Film Crew Member Killed by Train

Jul 17, 2017  •  Post A Comment

The family of a camera assistant who was killed by a train on a railroad bridge while working on a movie in Georgia in 2014 was awarded $3.9 million today. The AP reports that the jury found “the railroad’s owner shared in the blame for the deadly freight train collision even though the film crew was trespassing.”

“The parents of Sarah Jones sued CSX Transportation in Chatham County State Court, saying the railroad shared blame for their daughter’s death,” the story reports. “The 27-year-old camera assistant died in the crash Feb. 20, 2014, during the first day of shooting ‘Midnight Rider,’ an ill-fated movie about Gregg Allman of the Allman Brothers Band.”

Allman died in May at age 69, but the production has been in limbo since the crash, and before his death Allman went to court to prevent the project from moving forward.

“The film’s director, Randall Miller, served a year in jail after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespassing charges,” the AP reports. “Jones’ parents, Richard and Elizabeth Jones of Columbia, South Carolina, said CSX also failed to take precautions that could have averted the crash on a trestle spanning the Altamaha River near Jesup in southeast Georgia.”

Jacksonville, Fla.-based CSX indicated it will appeal the ruling.

2 Comments

  1. I certainly hope they will appeal; the railroad has to pay because someone was trespassing? Nonsense.

  2. What exactly is the railroad suppose to do? Freight trains do not run an a set schedule, so doing anything on a rail line without the knowledge of the train company is extremely dangerous. I’m sure computerization has made the time tables more accurate. As a kid, my hometown’s Christmas parade had to cross railroad tracks. The rail line could only give us a 4 hour window when the train might come through town. My job was to stand at the crossing looking for the train so we would not have a float crossing the tracks when the train came. They should have had someone down the line on both sides to give warning of an oncoming train, especially since they were there without CXS’ knowledge.

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