Jury selection in the trial of the death of “Midnight Rider” second camera assistant Sarah Jones is set for Monday, March 9, at the Wayne County Courthouse. The trial will begin March 10.
“Midnight Rider” was going to be a biopic of rock musician Greg Allman. Producers Randall Miller, Jody Savin, Hillary Schwartz and Jay Sedrish were indicted and charged with involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespass after Jones was struck by a train and killed Feb. 20, 2014.
The producers say they were given permission to film on the CSX railroad property — specifically, the Doctortown trestle.
The crew, following the directions provided by Miller, set up a metal hospital bed on the track and were filming a scene when a CSX train approached the trestle at 58 mph, according to incident reports released by the National Transportation Safety Board and the GBI.
Several actors and crew members, including Jones, had to scramble to escape the train, which hit the metal bed prop. Shrapnel from the collision hit Jones, knocking her into the train’s path. Seven other members of the crew were injured by shrapnel.
Attorneys for Jones’ family filed a civil suit, citing they had sufficient evidence to prove that Miller, Savin, Sedrish, Schwartz, CSX railroad and a litany of others had willfully placed the crew and Jones in harm’s way, and that the crew had no idea permission previously had been denied by CSX to be on the railroad tracks.
The Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, GBI, NTSB, OSHA and Federal Railroad Administration all participated in different aspects of the investigation.
The Wayne County grand jury indicted the producers indicted charging them with involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespass.