‘Midnight Rider’: Hearing Set on CSX Effort to Bar Release of Accident Video

A judge in Chatham County, Ga., has set an emergency hearing for Dec. 12 to consider CSX Transportation’s motion to restrict the further dissemination of a video of the accident on the set of “Midnight Rider” on Feb. 20.

The video — taken from a CSX train that came unexpectedly as filmmakers were shooting on the tracks near Jesup, Ga. — already has been shown on ABC News’ “20/20.”

CSX contends that it released the video to attorneys for the family of Sarah Jones, the camera assistant who was killed in the accident, but did not agree to have its wider dissemination. They claim that the attorneys violated a license agreement required by the video software provider.

But attorneys for Jones at the firm of Harris Penn Lowry argue that the video was entered into the public record and that they did not violate the terms of the license agreement. They say that CSX should have entered a protective order if they did not want the video released.

The video shows the crew of the film scrambling to get out of the way as the train approaches a trestle.

The family of Jones has settled its civil suit with the movie’s filmmakers, but its claim against CSX Transportation continues.

They also are challenging CSX’s request for a gag order to prevent their attorneys from making “extrajudicial statements” about the case. That motion also will be considered at the Dec. 12 hearing.

Although CSX claims that it did not give the filmmakers permission to shoot on the tracks, the Jones family argues that the railroad’s “own safety guidelines required it to take reasonable precautions when unauthorized individuals are present on the railroad tracks that it operates.”

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