Police Conduct Homicide Investigation as Gregg Allman Biopic Suspends Production
The Gregg Allman biopic 'Midnight Rider' has temporarily shut down production as police conduct an investigation to determine if criminal charges -- possibly including homicide -- will be brought against film personnel in the wake of an on-set accident that resulted in the death of a crew member.
The incident happened Feb. 20th in Wayne County, Georgia. The crew, including star William Hurt, were filming a dream sequence that involved a bed positioned on top of an active train track on a bridge. When a locomotive came through at an unexpected time, a camera assistant named Sarah Jones was struck and killed by the train, and several others were injured by flying bed debris.
According to Variety, there is a dispute as to whether CSX, the company that operates the train lines, gave the film's producers permission to use the location. Their report goes on to say that "it appears the production did not follow the safety procedures typical of a film shoot that has the cooperation of the railroad." Members of the crew could face charges including criminal trespass, putting an obstruction on a railroad line, or even homicide depending on the results of the police investigation.
'Midnight Rider,' named after one of the Allman Brothers Band's most famous songs and based on Gregg Allman's memoir 'My Cross To Bear,' is set to star Hurt in the lead role. The actor, famous for his performances in movies such as 'Broadcast News' and 'Kiss of the Spider Woman,' was part of the scene being filmed but was not injured in the accident.
Police are currently reviewing footage shot at the time of the accident, and there is no word as to when filming will resume. Jones' funeral is scheduled for Wednesday in Columbia, S.C. Her friends and family have created a Facebook page named 'Slates for Sarah' in her honor.