'Midnight Rider' Filmmakers Charged With Involuntary Manslaughter In Sarah Jones' Death
It's been over four months since a 27-year-old camera assistant was fatally struck by a freight train on the set of Midnight Rider, and today Georgia prosecutors have charged the filmmakers with involuntary manslaughter.
If convicted, Randall Miller and Jody Savin, the owners of Unclaimed Freight Productions—the company that produced the film, as well as the film's executive producer Jay Sedrish could face up to 10 years in prison for the involuntary manslaughter charge, according to Variety. They were also charged with criminal trespassing, which could potentially land them 12 months in jail.
During the first day of shooting on Feb. 20, Sarah Jones was killed and seven others were injured when a freight train plowed through a trestle in Jesup, Georgia where allegedly the crew wasn't given permission to film. Members of the TV and film industry brought attention to Jones' death and the safety practices for crew members during filming.
Production was put on hold for the film after Jones' death; however, Miller and Savin had announced plans to continue shooting in L.A. in June. Crew members were upset that the filming was moving forward this since the investigation was still pending, and boycotted the production company. Even William Hurt, the lead actor in Midnight Rider, dropped out of the film in April.
This comes on the heels of several other lawsuits filed against Unclaimed Freight Productions. One of those complaints included Jones' family's lawsuit which was filed on May 21. The lawsuit said that the company "operated without minimum safety precautions and contrary to standard industry practices for productions of this scale and for productions involving dangerous filming conditions."