Fitness Star Tripped And Fell In Front Of Oncoming Train Trying To Get 'The Best Shot'
Friends of Greg Plitt say that he was trying to get an action shot while filming when he tripped and fatally fell into the path of an oncoming Metrolink train this weekend.Plitt's friend Warren Coulter talked to film crew members at the scene who said that Plitt was trying to act like Superman in a video he was filming. TMZ says it was a commercial for a new sports drink. The stunt was supposed to be a play on the saying about Superman: "More powerful than a locomotive!" Coulter told the Los Angeles Times, "He just made a mistake."
His girlfriend Christina Stejskal told the newspaper he was "just trying to get the best shot." She added: "He wanted to push things to the limit. He's just like Superman."
The secondhand reports from crew members and friends confirms a report from a Metrolink passenger who said that Plitt seemed to falter just before he got hit. Earlier Victor Crowell told ABC 7, "He had on all black. The train went by. I saw him stumble over the tracks. He had a camcorder in his hand."
Plitt and his crew did not have permission to film in Burbank or to film near live tracks. Metrolink spokesman Jeff Lustgarten told the Times, "We have a whole process for people to go through if they want to be on our right-of-way, especially for film crews."
The story unfortunately bears some resemblance to the story of Sarah Jones, a 27-year-old camera operator who was killed when a train went through a shoot set up on a trestle in Georgia. The filmmakers for "Midnight Rider" in that case face criminal charges, fines from regulators and wrongful death lawsuits.
Deadline reports that despite that cautionary tale, smaller films still push the limits filming on tracks:
“Reliable reports of shot-stealing have become quite numerous,” said [Arthur J.] Miller, the System Director of Safety and Regulatory Compliance for the Western Group, a consortium of Western railroad companies. “Some of it is spur-of-the-moment trespass, but there are a substantial number of instances where the trespass is premeditated and planned. Since the Sarah Jones tragedy, the number of reports I’ve personally received about film crews straying onto railroad properties has roughly quadrupled. This is a particular problem with small- and micro-budget projects.”
This wasn't Plitt's first time filming on the tracks. He had previously shot a fitness video that showed him throwing a barbell and also doing push-ups right on the tracks.
Greg Plitt in a previous workout video (YouTube)
Plitt was from Maryland and a graduate of West Point in 2000. He served as an Army Ranger before becoming an actor, personal trainer, and fitness model. In 2008, he was cast by Bravo for their reality TV series Work Out. He had most recently appeared on Bravo's Friend to Lovers, which premiered last Monday.
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