Camera assistant killed during shoot on train tracks
posted Friday, February 21, 2014 at 2:08 PM EDT
On Thursday, a tragic accident struck a film shoot in Wayne County, Ga, where an authorized scene on a railway track ended with the death of one crew member and the injury of at least two others. Recording for the upcoming Gregg Allman biopic “Midnight Rider”, the crew were filming a dream sequence on a railroad trestle, when an unexpected train crossed the bridge.
According to Variety, the crew, including director Randall Miller, had placed a bed on the tracks for the scene, and were aware of two trains that were scheduled to come through, but not a third. They were alerted by a whistle of the oncoming locomotive, giving them only one minute to clear out. Variety's report states that Miller had fallen onto the tracks, but was saved by a still photographer. The oncoming train hit and killed the shoot's second camera assistant, and as the bed wasn't cleared in time, it exploded, injuring at least two others.
A report by WTOC states that the shoot was authorized, and coordinated with both the location and the train line, which makes it even more tragic that this accident occurred. The Wayne County Sheriff's Office is investigating, and treating it as a homicide.
This tragedy isn't the first we've heard of photographers and videographers being injured on train tracks—as a location, they have a certain air of romanticism that many like to capture. But lines that are still in use can be extremely dangerous, and have lead to other incidents. A speeding train doesn't give much warning, and can't slow down particularly well, making them very difficult to escape from.
So please people, be very careful around train tracks.
Image: Never Ending Truss by Ian Sane, used under a Creative Commons license.