‘Midnight Rider’ Exec on Fatal Train Accident: ‘No Corners Were Cut’

'Midnight Rider' Exec on Fatal Train

A Savannah-based film crew services company working on Gregg Allman biopic “Midnight Rider” has denied any wrong doing in the train crash that killed a 27-year-old camera assistant and injured seven others, insisting “no corners were cut.”

In an email to Variety, Nick Gant, creative director and principal of Meddin Studios, said: “This is not guerrilla filmmaking or a group of indie film makers trying to grab a shot. It was weeks of communications and scouting multiple places. You had to have access to get onto the site. We have 20- to 30-year veterans in all the departments, crew is extremely qualified, cast trailers were transporter, location was almost 90 minutes away.”

Meddin Studios is a crew services company based in Savannah and has been working the makers of the movie, but they are not the production company behind it. The production company is Unclaimed Freight Prods. and the distributor is Open Road Films.

Thursday’s deadly collision took place at a railroad trestle that crosses the Altamaha River in the rural county about 60 miles southwest of Savannah. Wayne County sheriff’s detectives were working Saturday to piece together how and why the train crash happened.

The tracks, owned by CSX Railroad, cross private land owned by forest-products company Rayonier, which has a nearby paper mill. Joe Gardner, the lead detective on the case, said the crew had Rayonier’s permission to film on its property next to the train tracks.

“CSX has told me they were aware they were out there, but they did not have permission to be on the train tracks,” Gardner told reporters on Friday. Meddin Studios, however, claimed the train company is not being honest with local officials.

“CSX will say what they want because they can retract their statement in six months and it will have no press around it,” Gant said. In addition to the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department in Jesup, Ga., near where the accident occurred, officials from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are conducting an investigation, according to a spokesman for the agency in Atlanta.The victim, a second camera assistant, was later identified as Sarah Jones of Atlanta.

“We are spending too much time trying to place blame on a horrific accident,” Gant added. “Sarah’s actions probably saved other peoples lives. The crew, our families and our community are very tight. We are able to hand select who we are going to spend long days and weeks together. Sarah and every crew member were friends, family and professionals at what they did. “We need to celebrate their accomplishments, their lives and support their families as we move forward,” he said.

An eyewitness told Variety the Open Road Films drama was in its first day of shooting Thursday afternoon and the crew was filming a dream sequence on a railroad trestle when a train unexpectedly crossed the bridge. Director Randall Miller and the crew had been warned to expect two trains on the local bridge, one in each direction, and waited until after those two trains had passed to set up their shot, which involved placing a bed on the tracks.

The railroad had also told the production that if any additional trains came, they’d hear a whistle about a minute before the train would reach the bridge. A third train did arrive unexpectedly, blowing its whistle while the crew was on the bridge and the bed was on the track. Crew members ran toward their base camp, which was on land at one end of the bridge, using a plank walkway on the side of the trestle bridge. However in doing so they ran toward the bed. That proved disastrous.

Miller, who also directed the 2008 film “Bottle Shock,” and a still photographer rushed to get the bed off the tracks. Miller fell onto the tracks but the still photographer pulled him off, according to the witness, saving his life. The train was unable to stop and crossed the bridge while the crew was still on the walkway and the bed was still on the tracks. The bed was hit by the train and shattered, sending debris flying. One large piece of debris hit Jones as she was running and knocked her onto the tracks. She was then struck by the train and killed.

Debris also hit and injured several other people, including one who was seriously injured and airlifted to Savannah’s Memorial Health University Medical Center. A rep for Open Road has declined to comment on how Thursday’s fatal incident could affect the pic’s future. Starring William Hurt, Bradley Whitford, Eliza Dushku, Zoey Deutch and Tyson Ritter, “Midnight Rider” is set to be released by Open Road in the U.S. Allman is also an executive producer on the film.

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  1. Mike Thomas says:

    In no way are the people on the trestle “professional”; professional crews fully understand the danger involved in setting up apparatus on live tracks.
    Safety would’ve been paramount, drilled into each crew member thoroughly.
    It appears the priority was to save the equipment including the bed.
    Now lets be clear on this point;
    Any “pro” would know that a bed, no matter it’s construction,(brass,mahogany or teak) is not going to harm a train weighing many hundreds of tons;
    Some moron on that crew should be in prison til he dies because it was that person , giving directives to pick up the equipment and remove the bed from the tracks at a critical moment when safety for life was at hand.
    Not a single “man” had the foresight to plan an escape route should a train come. Not that one was even needed, they all should’ve stayed on the walkway with their immediate possessions and kissed the pricey equipment goodbye.
    They all would’ve laughed and hooted the next day over their Starbucks coffees and lattes.
    That young woman died as a result of human ignorance !

    • Art Miller says:

      Mr. Thomas, your recent post is very troubling. Even after all of the Midnight Rider publicity, you still seem to believe that, in the event of the unexpected arrival of a train at a stolen location, (a) planning an escape route and (b) having a plan to abandon the pricey equipment are acceptable production safety procedures. That sort of thinking is definitely NOT the mark of a production professional.

      Instead, those plans are the mark of a fool. They also are per se evidence of an individual creating a criminal conspiracy for the purpose of engaging in felony criminal trespass. (A similarly bad idea, often stated in these comment blogs, is sending “spotters” a mile or two on the either side of the “stolen” location to warn of an approaching train.)

      In 2014, in the wake of the Midnight Rider tragedy, IATSE Locals 479 (Atlanta), 492 (Nashville), and Local 600 (ICG) presented a series of rail safety workshops. More than 150 film professionals attended the eight seminars. They learned that (a) every piece of railroad track, regardless of how desolate looking it is, has an owner and (b) unless the owner has given the film company explicit permission for the shoot, entering the railroad’s property in pursuit of a shot is felony criminal trespass.

      Kevin Amick of IASTE Local 479; Professor Carol Winstead Wood from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts; Rusty Burrell, ICG’s central regional director; and the undersigned also stressed that film crew members must be governed by the maxim “If You See Something, Say Something” when it comes to working in potentially-dangerous situations.

      If you wish to contact me directly, I can send you some of the program’s critical slides and a Rail Safety poster that says, “Stealing a Shot on a Railroad isn’t Creative, it is Criminal Trespass.” It can also be deadly,

      The incident’s one fatality, six injuries and Randall Miller’s subsequent incarceration and the penalties suffered by his colleagues should serve as constant reminders to every fool who thinks he/she can ignore the law and common sense to save a few thousand dollars.

      I hope you will spread the word about the deadly serious consequences of railroad trespass.

      Art Miller
      System Director – Safety & Regulatory Compliance
      The Western Group
      Carlsbad, NM

  2. Captain Bee Fart says:

    Contrary to Mr. Gant’s incredibly callous and self-serving satement, this was no “accident”. It was a homicide, the direct result of a cavalier disregard for the safety and well-being of the crew, and the blame must rest squarely on the shoulders of the producers. I have worked on and around trains and on a professionally run set there are ALWAYS railway safety liasons present to conduct safety meetings and control the train. It beggars belief that this crew was sent onto an active trestle just so some cowboy could get his shot. Unconscionable and unforgivable.

  3. Mary says:

    Grants remarks are an insult to everyone in this industry…. “NO” Mr. Grant, we don’t want to move on… We want you to understand that the film crew consists of real people… mothers, daughters, sisters, sons, fathers and brothers. The star didn’t die so lets just move on? would you say “lets just move on” if Hurt were dead? no you wouldn’t… It’s clear by your remarks that this hard working young woman meant nothing to you… shame on you… The truth will come out and I have a feeling the blame is going to be placed with you and your company. I hope the responsible person/people do jail time and I hope it’s a lesson to everyone in this industry that this young woman was a human being, full of life and worth more than a “lets just move on” type of a comment. Again, shame on you Mr Grant.

  4. shipwrek says:

    I’ll be he DOESN’T want to “place blame” because it appears it would be placed right on his lap!

    • Art Miller says:

      While Mr. Gant’s comments are indeed unseemly, the real responsibility appears to rest with those production managers and crew who made the decision to ignore well-established protocols and attempt a “guerilla” film expedition. If he was in that decision loop, then it’s fair to blaze away at him. Otherwise, he seems only guilty of being crude, insensitive, and a first-rate _ _ (fill in the blank _ _ ). Also, he has gotten national media attention for his remarks, if that is any consolation. 0.02 art.miller@rtms-movietrains.com

  5. Eric says:

    Typical response for someone trying to cover their ass!!!!! Some one is responsible. You don’t just go on train tracks to film without a representative from the railroad on site! “We are spending too much time trying to place blame on a horrific accident,” Gant added

  6. anon says:

    Bull corners were cut, or a girl would not be gone, try to make someone else believe that load of *******

  7. Jack Doyle says:

    My son is an engineer on a large commuter railroad in the Northeast. If anyone ever has permission to be on railroad tracks, the locomotive engineer will have written train orders indicating the time and location of the incursion. In the circumstances described in this tragic event, the standard procedure would be to have railroad employees on either side of fouled tracks who would be in radio contact with train crews. Normally a train would come to a complete stop before the affected area and proceed at restricted speed only when the railroad employee on the ground established that it was safe to do so. If a film crew had permission to be on an active trestle, I’m certain CSXT would have had a similar safety prcedure in place.

  8. franklyn Gottbetter says:

    blah blah blah….lies

  9. Doug Kofsky says:

    The use of the word “crew” in the title of this article is very misleading and actually the complete opposite of the truth.

    A spokesman for Meddin Studios – which is a “crew services company” – made this claim. No one on the actual “crew” that they hired is claiming this from what I have seen.

    Doug Kofsky
    Freelance Assistant Camera
    member IATSE Local 600

  10. Scott Auerbach says:

    As a Georgia-based commercial DP who does a lot of filming on and around railroad operations (roughly 10 shoots per year), I can assure you that no film crew of this size (let alone this level of risk) would be allowed to proceed without an on-site railroad representative in radio contact with the train dispatcher. Never ever.

  11. Keefe says:

    So…

    When is it going to be made public that both WILLIAM HURT and WYATT RUSSELL (son of KURT RUSSELL and GOLDIE HAWN) were also on set at the train trestle when this tragedy occurred?

    This has not been reported in the press, and these actors are obviously are keeping their mouths shut.

    One can only suppose that they do not want their careers to be tarnished by this pathetic, illegal maneuver.

    • Jamie Vesay says:

      Think they were not there. It was called a Camera Test but of course we all know that was not the case. I really think if any of the actors were there it would have been reported already. Awful no matter. Channel all new anger and energy to Slates for Sarah. The law and a higher power will deal with those who were the cause.

      • Jamie Vesay says:

        Ok then, yes it appears they were there and I agree, very neatly packaged away from them. This smelled like classic “stealing a shot” mode from the beginning to me and it saddens me. So selfish “we’re doing it anyway” bad decision-makers.

        Only speaking from my experiences including recently shooting on railroad tracks (not on this movie) that Actors will not question the permitting of a location. So they may have been just as shocked as others when the unstoppable appeared. On our movie, we explored a live line but when the railroad said NO, we looked at inactive and private lines and ended up on a small regional non-freight line that was film-friendly – and ALL safety procedures and measures played.

        We work in dangerous places often. With all safety measures in place, it can work. If it is UNSAFE we must KNOW that and say NO.

      • Localite says:

        Both Hurt and Russell were there (further evidenced by trailers at the site and a hair/make-up person was one of the injured). Hurt was on the tracks, filming the scene in question. My guess is they were doing an old/young shot of the dream scene on the mattress on the tracks, and Hurt went first. The fatal third train came 20 minutes after the planned-for second train came through – they probably had just finished setting up to do the shot-in-question when the tragedy struck.

      • Keefe says:

        Jamie, I appreciate your thoughtful discourse.

        Please know that there is MUCH more to this story than has been reported. I am told by someone who was on the scene themselves that both those actors were present, as they were meant to be in the scene that the director was attempting to grab without permits or required safety planning / personnel.

        While this is apparently being kept hushed up for PR purposes, you’ll note that many of the first reports that came out about this tragedy clearly listed hair and makeup people as being onsite. There would be no need for them to be there if no actors were present.

        Also, Nick “Heartless Bastard” Gant himself bragged (for no apparent reason) about the trailers his production had transported to the site. I think time will show that some or all of these were talent trailers…

  12. Jamie Vesay says:

    Variety: Maybe you should follow the heart-warming movement that has started by this tragedy at SlatesForSarah.org or @SlatesForSarah on Twitter. The coming together of International crews by sending in their SLATES – is stirring. Concurrently, there is another movement to have Sarah added to the Memoriam piece at the Oscars. Okay – go.

    Filmies and Creatives, or if you have ever watched a motion picture. Go to SlatesForSarah.org and send a tribute to one of our lost crew members. Sarah was a Camera Assistant. She held the SLATE. If you’re in the biz, the slate could be from any project; commercial, movie, TV, national, local. If you’re not currently working on something, maybe create one. Student films too! Maybe a recent photo of one. If you’re not in the camera department, draw one. Or just go and send along a hug on FB or on Twitter @SlatesForSarah

    If you’re not in the biz, please visit and see how a film family rolls. Thanks. #slatesforsarah

  13. CHLORINE GAS TRANSPORTATION SAFETY
    First Responders ask federal administrations to consider adding secondary containment to rail tank cars used to transport chlorine gas, providing lifesaving safety to First Responders and the public they serve. See First Responders Comments at PETITION C KIT.

  14. Cat says:

    I live down here where this happened, and the official police report states that an email has surfaced where they were expressly told by CSX that they DID NOT have permission to film on the tracks, but the film company did it anyway.. and now a young woman is dead and several more were hospitalized.. I doubt the actual crew knew that they weren’t allowed to be ON the tracks… senseless..

  15. Louie says:

    This is the fault of HILARY SCHWARTZ ,! I have worked with her and been there first hand to see how she ” runs” a set she cuts corners no medic was there no way is that ok she knows that she had a duty to stop this from happening

  16. Angela R. says:

    Sheriff’s Report: ‘Midnight Rider’ Was Denied Railroad Permit, According to CSX Email

    http://variety.com/2014/film/news/midnight-rider-fatality-sherrif-report-says-csx-denied-permission-for-shooting-1201119180/ via @Variety

  17. Are prayers go out to everyone . Very sad tragedy.

  18. Jamie Vesay says:

    There is clever on-set lingo that inform us when the last shot is or if somebody is off to the restroom. Maybe when things suddenly become unsafe, we can all collectively say “Remember Sarah.”

  19. “We are spending too much time trying to place blame on a horrific accident,” Gant added. Are you kidding me, Mr. Gant??

    Yes, important to acknowledge people’s talents and the efforts expended to save lives, but getting to reason WHY this happened is essential, not only as a matter of liability and responsibility, but to ensure that no one ever again makes whatever mistakes were made that day that resulted in death and injury.

    And if Sarah Jones had been my daughter, I’d want to know exactly why what happened happened, why my daughter lost her life on a film set. No amount of dismissive, deflective smoke screening would change that most primal need.

  20. Robert Pope says:

    Sooo, Sooo Sad…I didn’t know anyone on this set but, as someone in this industry my thoughts and prayers go out to the Family…

  21. ronnie says:

    If the company had permission from the railroad company, it has be in a location contract. You can’t get that kind of permission in just a phone call. I can’t imagine that a big railroad would not have something in writing with the production company filming and being on their property, especially from a legal standpoint. The signed contract should stipulate where and what the company can do, so that alone should clarify what was allowed. If there isn’t one, then the railroad company and production are both idiots and shoud both be responsible for the tragedy.

    • Diana Scott says:

      Exactly!!

    • Art Miller says:

      There is nothing in any of the news reports, here or in any other media outlet, to suggest CSXT allowed the production onto its property and has any culpability. The is a grand difference in “being aware” the film crew was in the vicinity and in giving them permission to be on the property, much less on a narrow bridge over a river.

      The average set-up time for a studio feature arrange to work on a Class 1 carrier (CSXT, NS, BNSF, UP, CN, CP, KCS) is about six months. That is IF you can figure out a way to not interrupt their traffic flow. Most major railroad lines carry 12+ trains a day, so there just aren’t “shooting windows” available for movie crews any more. The BNSF Transcon has a 100 a day! No way you’re going to work on that railroad.

      An option is to go to a cooperative small railroad. My employer — Iowa Pacific Holdings — is film friendly. Contact: millera@iowapacific.com

  22. Art Miller says:

    What stands out in these comments is how little some production folks seem to know about the rigorous planning and safety protocols required for a production to work on any railroad property or right-of-way. Federal regulations and Company rules in place to implement those regulations just DO NOT rely on “a couple of PAs with walkies.” Period.

    Let’s put aside the fact that this event occurred on a major main line serving a major deep water port. Interrupting traffic on this sort of line would be a a major Location Department “get.” Having done a couple of films on Class 1 carriers (the big guys) and smaller railroads, none of the limited official narratives suggest that the normal set-up activities had occurred in this case.

    Once the dust settles and the initial grief wears off, this event presents an opportunity for the industry to design and put into place real safety reforms. University film schools, unions, and production companies would be ideal places to begin the educational process.

    My long-term concerns are that this event will raise insurance premiums to the point where the production industry will loose access to the railroad resource…and that railroads’ current wariness of productions will be amplified by news of this incident.

    I have a further discussion of railroad safety on my website. The link is provided below:

    http://www.rtms-movietrains.com/RailRoadSafety.aspx.html

    My sincere and heartfelt sympathies go out to those who were involved in this incident, and to those in the Georgia production community (I have worked with many of them) who have been shocked by this tragedy. Also remember there was a train crew involved, a Conductor and Engineer who could do little except set the Emergency air, blow the horn, and then “ride it out” as 8000 tons of stack train mowed down the doomed production crew. I feel for them. They’ll never forget this day. Please keep them in your prayers.

  23. Sarah,

    I didn’t know you but learned today that you were a “sister” of mine, a 2nd AC in Local 600, that you were working on a film set yesterday and that now you are no longer with us as a result. I am so sorry that your young life was cut short for something as trivial as moviemaking and so sorry that no one spoke up to say “this isn’t safe” before a train came down the tracks you were shooting on killing you and injuring seven others. I don’t really know much about the situation or what actually happened, but I am sure that you were doing your job, performing your functions professionally, secure in the knowledge that since others were doing it, things must be safe. I don’t know if you were concerned, if there was a safety meeting, if you asked and someone said, “yeah it’ll be fine” or, if like so often happens, you were moving so fast to help your team get “the shot” that you didn’t take the time to consider what was being asked of you. I don’t know a lot of things.

    But I do know this Sarah. No one had your back. If they did, you’d still be here today. The Director should have said no. The AD should have said no. The DP should have said no. Production should have said no. Your operator should have said no. I don’t know if any of these things happened, but I do know that you were out on those tracks and that means someone didn’t step up enough. You were doing what was asked of you and for that reason, you are gone.

    And I am so sorry because a 2nd AC shouldn’t be the one to make the call that something is unsafe. A 2nd AC, or anyone for that matter, should not have been out on those tracks. A 2nd AC should not have died yesterday. No one should have.

    I don’t know what will change as a result of your death but I do know this. From here on forward, I pledge as an A Camera/Steadicam operator, and one of the senior members of my department, that I will contact every member of my department before we start shooting any job to let them know that I have their backs. I am going to explain that I need them to speak up about unsafe conditions on set and that if they don’t feel comfortable speaking out because of their position, that I will gladly speak to production on behalf of all of us. I am going to tell my union brothers and sisters that we work way too fast, way too long, and way too hard and that I need them to watch my back just as much as I need to watch theirs. I need them to speak up on my behalf because I’m often after that elusive “shot” and can sometimes forget. I need them to protect me and I need to protect them. I am in a position where part of my job is to speak up and I need to take that responsibility seriously. Because no one should ever die on a movie set.

    I’m sorry Sarah. We failed you. This won’t help you and I pray that you are resting in peace today, although that is of little comfort to those you were forced to leave behind. Perhaps at least something good can come from this and moving forward I pray that yours is the last death we read about on the set of any production.

    Signed – a brother who wishes he had been able to work with you

  24. BS79 says:

    This response stinks to high heaven. The articles coming out on this story speak of this railway having up to 10 freight trains a day. That right there tells me everything. One, the odds that CSX would want to jeopardizes train traffic by allowing a production crew on tracks that busy is very unlikely and doubtful. Two, the chances that CSX would think these tracks safe enough to allow a crew on them with that much traffic is also very unlikely. That’s what switch tracks and spares are for and most likely what a large company like CSX would recommend to a production. Thirdly, the remote odds of CSX approving the production and not having an onsite rep if for no other reason than to protect the tracks and infrastructure from damage, much less safety and potential litigation, seems absurd. I wouldn’t be surprised if CSX was made aware a production company would be shooting in the area, but seriously doubt they ever approved them to shoot on the track itself.

  25. sandy says:

    Midnight Rider is being produced by Unclaimed Freight Productions (Pasadena, CA). The PRODUCERS are Randall Miller (who is also the director) and Jody Savin. Nick Gant is listed on imdb.com as an executive producer. His company, Meddin Studios, provides facilities and equipment to out-of-state productions. The crew does not work for his company. They were hired by Unclaimed Freight and came from at least 5 states, California, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Louisiana.

  26. M33 says:

    It’s not the writer’s fault. He’s not on this side of the business. People in our own business don’t even understand how this works sometimes. Like the Director saying he had more authority than the Producer. Most people have no idea who is signing their checks and orchestrating and approving all of these decisions. Meddin Studios is the local producer who admittedly arranged all of this. All it takes is a trip to the local courthouse to see Nick Gant’s M.O. and the trail of reckless business practices that led him into bankruptcy and a number of other legal issues. Mr. Gant’s response reads like a sociopath who has no regard for anyone but himself. This angers all of us in this side of the business because we know what should have happened to prevent this tragedy, Gant may be able to B.S. journalists and law enforcement, for now, but he can’t fool us. My heart goes out to Sarah’s family and friends and all the innocent people victimized by this reckless negligence.

    • IATSE Camera Operator says:

      I disagree. The writer is either uninformed, misinformed or simply incompetent. The Crew means the below the line personnel. If one does not know this… they ought not be writing articles regarding film production. The “Producer” in this case… (apparently having been given a Producer credit) is a principal owner of an affiliated Production Company. If one cannot tell the difference between the working crew… and management… then perhaps an alternate career ought to be considered.

  27. Dave Perkal, ASC says:

    My heart is heavy and my grief consumes me. I go through fits of rage and then a complete breakdown crying. Sarah touched me and changed my life. Ive learned lessons to carry with me until my last days. To know her was to know a life energy that was infectious and liberating. Her spirit lives on and resonates through me. If you wanted to feel better, be around Sarah. A moment, a smile, a brief conversation was all it took to brighten your day.

    Sarah was also extremely talented, gifted, smart and professional. Working with her was my pleasure and a gift in my career. She always gave selflessly to the team and made us all look like rockstars.

    We talked about her upcoming film and her career aspirations. I told her she was a rare talent imbued with a positive spirit that she humbly shared with grace and style. Her aspirations had no limit. She was the one you knew was going to shoot for the stars and make it.

    Sarah wasn’t naïve either. She didn’t know production didn’t have her back. I know Sarah and in no way was she a push over. She was family as is all of my crew. After 27 years in the business spending 12 hours a day with your crew you bond in the same way a family bonds together. We actually spend more time with our crews than we do our own families.

    We MUST look after our crew like we do our own family. As a DP I am not below the line or above. I am the LINE. I have to toe that line and be willing and smart enough to say no. I have refused to let process trailers roll out with too many people on them, refused to fly condors in wind and lighting, refused to take camera positions that I feel may even get me to question safety. I’ve been bad mouthed, told I’m not a “team player” and the like. Stoically I hold my ground knowing that by standing up I am a TEAM PLAYER.

    Waiting to bring up any safety concern is unacceptable. The culture of feeling that you’ll be viewed as “not a team player” is UNACCEPTABLE.
    There’s a saying in sailing, “ if you’re thinking about reefing its already too late..”. DON’T LET IT BE TOO LATE!

    I am the line. I toe the line. That line has a name. That line’s name is SARAH. NOBODY CROSSES SARAH!!!

    • Sarah,

      I didn’t know you but learned today that you were a “sister” of mine, a 2nd AC in Local 600, that you were working on a film set yesterday and that now you are no longer with us as a result. I am so sorry that your young life was cut short for something as trivial as moviemaking and so sorry that no one spoke up to say “this isn’t safe” before a train came down the tracks you were shooting on killing you and injuring seven others. I don’t really know much about the situation or what actually happened, but I am sure that you were doing your job, performing your functions professionally, secure in the knowledge that since others were doing it, things must be safe. I don’t know if you were concerned, if there was a safety meeting, if you asked and someone said, “yeah it’ll be fine” or, if like so often happens, you were moving so fast to help your team get “the shot” that you didn’t take the time to consider what was being asked of you. I don’t know a lot of things.

      But I do know this Sarah. No one had your back. If they did, you’d still be here today. The Director should have said no. The AD should have said no. The DP should have said no. Production should have said no. Your operator should have said no. I don’t know if any of these things happened, but I do know that you were out on those tracks and that means someone didn’t step up enough. You were doing what was asked of you and for that reason, you are gone.

      And I am so sorry because a 2nd AC shouldn’t be the one to make the call that something is unsafe. A 2nd AC, or anyone for that matter, should not have been out on those tracks. A 2nd AC should not have died yesterday. No one should have.

      I don’t know what will change as a result of your death but I do know this. From here on forward, I pledge as an A Camera/Steadicam operator, and one of the senior members of my department, that I will contact every member of my department before we start shooting any job to let them know that I have their backs. I am going to explain that I need them to speak up about unsafe conditions on set and that if they don’t feel comfortable speaking out because of their position, that I will gladly speak to production on behalf of all of us. I am going to tell my union brothers and sisters that we work way too fast, way too long, and way too hard and that I need them to watch my back just as much as I need to watch theirs. I need them to speak up on my behalf because I’m often after that elusive “shot” and can sometimes forget. I need them to protect me and I need to protect them. I am in a position where part of my job is to speak up and I need to take that responsibility seriously. Because no one should ever die on a movie set.

      I’m sorry Sarah. We failed you. This won’t help you and I pray that you are resting in peace today, although that is of little comfort to those you were forced to leave behind. Perhaps at least something good can come from this and moving forward I pray that yours is the last death we read about on the set of any production.

      Signed – a brother who wishes had gotten the chance to work with you

  28. IATSE Camera Operator says:

    Wow. What a TRAVESTY. What Hollywood BS Propaganda “Reporting” !
    What is this… The National Enquirer?

    The author of this piece: Ted Johnson, Senior Editor at Variety… Are you not ashamed of yourself?
    Have you ever written even one factual news story relating to film production? Do You even know the difference between “Crew” and “Production”? You headline is BLATANTLY MISLEADING!

    The Crew is NOT saying (and has NOT said) that: “No corners were cut”… It is a Producer (and Production Company owner) who is obviously starting the public relations campaign to deny any responsibility here. Outrageous in and of itself… but for You to conflate and confuse the readers into thinking this is the position of the crew… apparently makes YOU part of the cover up. Are you being paid by that Production Company to write this nonsense?

    Wow. Please resign from your job immediately. What a snow job.

    I’ve been on many, many shoots where production calls it a “Test Day” … and they do that to save money. Nothing is being “tested” … the footage always ends up in the final movie.

    Thank God… this is being investigated as a crime. It was a crime. Negligence of the highest order.
    Hopefully, the State of Georgia has already revoked the filming permit for this group of dangerously incompetent producers. This was nothing short of criminal negligence.

    Like many others who have already posted comments… the mind reels when thinking of how easily this could have been avoided. Many excellent comments above and below my post… but in a nutshell:

    1. This job should have been called into the regional Union offices, with a faxed or scanned copy of the call sheet to each Union office THE DAY BEFORE SHOOTING. There is a good reason for this!

    2. On set Medic mandatory on all location shoots.

    3. Proper Permits for shooting on the tracks. (I have it directly from a reliable source that they were stealing a shot. To Repeat: I was told that they did NOT have permission to be on the tracks.)

    4. Railroad Safety Liaison / flagman ON SET.

    5. Production PA’s with radios and spare batteries stationed at a safe distance on either end of the tracks.

    6. A competent 1st AD, who is absolutely sure that they are ALLOWED to be on the tracks… and has safety covered as the main priority. Has he or she covered themselves by having enough PA’s with enough walkie talkies?

    7. Mandatory Safety Meeting for the entire shooting crew.

    8. The Production Manager… Safety first… Do you have the proper permits and all of the above? Does your ON SET production team have everything they need for this obviously challenging first day of shooting?

    9. The Location Manager… Of course, you have all the legal permits… right?

    10. The DP… being mindful of your first responsibility… which is to watch out for the safety of his crew. Did he call this job in to the office as he is required to do?

    11. Last… but certainly not least. The Director / Producer. Was this really a good idea?

    Ultimately… more facts will come out in this case… but as for now:
    Criminal charges are a real possibility.
    Lawsuits will abound. Lots of people lawyering up as fast as they can.

    To the Family and Friends of Sarah Jones… my sincere condolences. My heart goes out to You all…

    To those responsible for this avoidable tragedy… Words cannot convey my dismay and anger.

    • sandy says:

      Thank you for pointing out Variety’s misreporting. All you have to do is go to imdb.com to see that the production company for this film is Unclaimed Freight Productions (Pasadena, CA) and the producers are Randall Miller (who is also the director) and Jody Savin. The production crew came from at least three states, California, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Louisiana. It was a union show in a “right to work state,” with IATSE, DGA, SAG and Teamster members. The crew does not work for Meddin Studios.

  29. Jennifer Gledhill says:

    As a resident of Savannah and stage local member who has worked on a couple of films in the area I can say this unfortunate and tragic incident has been a long time coming… Meddin Studios is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection since last July- supposedly due to outstanding balances on two films…. one of which was staffed almost entirely by unpaid interns… Meddin has always cut corners and Nick Gant has an uncanny knack for blaming everyone but himself when things go wrong… Just makes me sick when someone puts my brothers and sisters in danger repeatedly… Just check out the links below to learn more…

    http://www.connectsavannah.com/savannah/freeze-frame-meddin-studios/Content?oid=2281217
    http://savannahnow.com/exchange/2013-07-02/meddin-studios-bankruptcy#.UwosdvldWhI

    • TR says:

      As someone who has worked with Meddin Studios, and Nick Gant himself, I can confirm that what Jennifer is saying is 100% accurate. Is Sarah’s death his fault, no, but his ignorant statements to seek attention, and repugnant need to divert blame is nauseatingly common for Mr. Gant. Lawsuits have been lost due to his childish, sometimes violent and verbally abusive behavior. His employees worked without pay and he took a Studio that had so much potential into bankruptcy with his ignorant management and repulsive behavior. His need to grasp attention so quickly with these statements almost certainly leaves all who were on set Thursday, all who were involved and all who knew and loved Sarah (I did not have the honor of knowing her) appalled and angered. It’s well known in the local Savannah film community that he is a black stain on local film productions. I would be lying if I said that I worked on a production with Mr. Gant where a violent outburst or tantrums weren’t thrown, I would also be lying if I said I worked on a Meddin Studios production where corners weren’t cut. Mr. Gant does not protect his own, but in this case, he is just ignorantly commenting. Let it be known that if a bad call is made on set, the crew is a family and I know without a doubt they protect their own, as they say; crew is family. Had they known there could be risk, I am positive they would have opposed. But I do agree that a PA should have been sent out as a precaution; PA’s are sent out to block traffic, people from entering a scene, why not down the track, at a safe distance with a walkie? I don’t want to point fingers or place blame, it was my initial thought. I hope the investigation leads to the truth. I can only imagine the grief that has overtaken those involved and I pray for each and every one of them; family, friends and crew. With that said, I urge everyone to not listen to what Mr. Gant says, as he is not the official corresponder and from my understanding he wasn’t on set. Those involved I’m sure are in enough pain and Mr. Gants comments shouldn’t be the words to represent the crew. My prayers and thoughts are with Sarah’s family, friends and the crew.

  30. wc says:

    The truth will come out (maybe not publicly) when the insurance company is involved in the investigation. Film Production policies require rigorous protocols for shooting on water, over water,on planes and certainly on ACTIVE train tracks. These Producer’s are completely exposed and will have likely breeched their production insurance agreement if they were shooting without the proper permissions or without the proper safety representatives.
    Film sets are not by nature democratic in that there is a chain of command with layers of responsibility required and dictated by department heads. This was a tremendous failure in that chain of command.

  31. William Pile says:

    If no corners were cut, then the tracks would have been locked out, with blue flags and derailers before ANY work was permitted on the tracks. Representatives from the railroad know this, and should have been present on the shoot.

    • Art Miller says:

      Blue Flag protection, found in 49 CFR Part 218, is for mechanical forces. Roadway Worker Protection, which may or may not involve derails, arises from Part 214. That would govern here. You could also take the track out of service around the filming site using a mandatory directive and not have to physically isolate the segment involved. I am amazed at some of the commenters here that seem to think that two PAs and walkies is a viable on-track safety strategy. My bet is that this has become another Twilight Zone event in the film production industry. And it’s a shame that safety rules get changed only after blood is spilled and lives are lost.

      • Leeroy says:

        ^This is the guy that knows. I’ve worked with Art Miller. If the investigators are smart, they will call him in to aid in the investigation. (Sorry to drag you in, Art!) Production is a weird beast. Art knows the ins-and-outs of both sides.

      • Andy says:

        Agree totally with you but the pointing out of “two PAs and walkies…” just illuminates the fact that this production spent as little as money as possible to get what appears to be a stolen (i.e. they had no permission) shot. It’s mind-boggling the production would be so cavalier with human life.

  32. stopandcare says:

    How come there were’nt PA’S with radios placed strategically down the tracks as spotters?Where were Stunts or the Grips that might be extra ears and eyes for locations just like this. AD department with it Safety Meeting before shooting?
    Yes a VERY TRAGIC accident and Preventable at EVERY level. Make no mistake this incident should refine what we do and how we do it. We need to look out for each other ! A Key Grip I worked for used to always say,” don’t let anything stupid while I’m at the truck.Keep all eyes and ears open!”

    • Michelle says:

      This was not a job for pas or just pas alone. There would have been reps from CSX had proper permission and permits been obtained. They would have been in touch with the tracking yard who would have been able to at least know if the 3rd train or any other train was coming. That should have all been coordinated days if not a week or two in advance with the ADs and stunt guy/s. There should have been meetings upon meetings about this shot and a safety meeting should have been had as soon as they got to set!

  33. Michelle says:

    If they had permission they why not provide the permit and location agreement from the railway? Also with that would have been a requirement to have a rep or two from the railway. So, sorry I call a big pile of steaming BULLSHIT!!! This beautiful girls life or any crew members life should have never been placed in jeopardy!! I’m disgusted that anyone with a brain cell said it was okay to put a friggin mattress on a LIVE train track. I hope this studio looses it’s backing, has to pay her family and the othe injured crew large sums of $$& and I hope those sitting behind their desks trying to deflect blame get out of our business! I didn’t know Sarah but she is family to us all in the film industry and I’m angry we lost her! Shame on all those who played a part!!!

  34. Vince (super Grip) says:

    1 MIN !!!
    NEED TO SAY MORE !!!

  35. Cheryl says:

    Becca Ulmo’s status.

    3 hours ago

    I don’t really know where to start.. Sarah Jones, you were one of my first friends in Atlanta and one of my closest. I’ve had the privilege of working by your side but the even greater pleasure of being your friend. I didn’t think I’d find someone in Atlanta so quickly who could challenge me in every aspect of life. You lived your life to the fullest every single day. You knew exactly who you were as a person. You were my colleague, my yoga partner, but most of all my friend.

    As for the Savannah Production staff hiding in their office, SHAME ON YOU. You knew very well that you didn’t have permission to be on those tracks. The crew TRUSTS that you do your job when you send them to hazardous locations…and for this to happen on a stupid “test shoot” is unacceptable.
    I’ve worked in Savannah many times. My first movie was with this same production company. They hired me on as a 2nd AC and Yes, I was grateful at the time. That time being that I was a student who had no knowledge of the industry. It wasn’t until I left Savannah, that I saw how the real world manages movies. Looking back on my first film and all the other films that they produced in Savannah, they’ve been making these same mistakes but have been getting away with it. They use the locals at their expense, knowing that no one knows enough to report them. They’ve been getting away with NEGLIGENCE like this for years, and now a very precious person has paid with her life.

    I’m not going to point my finger at the select few that were in charge of this, because I know you are already being investigated and the truth ALWAYS comes out. You have no idea of the impact this has made on the Georgia Film community. EVERYBODY in Atlanta knew Sarah “Jonsey” Jones. The film community is Outraged. Sarah was at the top of her game and one of the best at her job. We’ve lost a family member, a sister, a daughter, a friend. Sarah deserves to have her battle fought for her, she would have done the same for any of us.
    You can go ahead and say this was, and I quote, “weeks of communications and scouting multiple places. You had to have access to get onto the site. We have 20-30 year veterans in all the departments, crew is extremely qualified…no corners were cut…” BULLSHIT. If you did your “communications” this would have been avoided. “You had to have access to get onto the site” ….you only had permission to be NEXT to the train yard. You know damn well that doesn’t mean going ON TO live tracks. You say you have veterans..yes you do, but the real question is, were they aware that the production didn’t do their job and that NO ONE had their backs? No, because we as crew assume that the producers (or whomever made the call to venture onto the tracks) did their job in securing our safety, ESPECIALLY at a hazardous location…Shame. On. You.

    I hope you read this and do the right thing from now on. You can start by admitting you could have done more. You all have children, how would this make you feel as a parent?

    I want all the Savannah locals to be aware of the hand that feeds you. As for the crew members that were injured at the accident, I’m very happy to hear that you are ok! Please let this be a lesson, no one has your back but you. Your department head should think of you and other assistants, but sometimes they are more worried about their relationship with the guy in charge. You can’t trust other people when your safety is involved.

    You should be just as angry, because that could have easily been any one of you.

    Cheryl ~ You are so right Becca !!!! Gene complained many times on shoots about safety issues and threatened to report the crew !!! They all hated him for it !!! We almost witnessed several children being killed running in front of a piece of heavy equipment on “BABY BLUES” !!! Gene Witham complained so much that he never received his contracted fee due to an uneducated, unprofessional professor at SCAD !!! Parents pulled their kids off the set because of the safety factor. Maybe Gene saved a few lives by complaining !! Yes, we are also angry and sad to see this happen !!! It’s all about greed and not caring who gets killed in the process of film making in Savannah !!! There is a reason why the motto says, “SAFETY FIRST” !!! Gene has fought for years to bring our locals up to the industry standards, all to no avail. They still do what they want and just don’t care about safety and the rules. Gene says, take good care of yourself and be safe ♥ We love you guys ♥

    Becca Ulmo ~ I can only imagine the things Gene has seen. You two were so professional, even in my early years in the business. I wish safety and love to the both of you, thank you again for sharing. It is the only way to fight this

    Cheryl ~ Trespassing onto railroad tracks is a misdemeanor under Georgia law ? I read that Rail Roads do not give permission for any filming, commercials, etc. on their tracks ? Someone knew that they were violating the LAW !!!

  36. Bruce Hall says:

    Mr Grant,

    You had a bed on a live train track with no ability to stop an oncoming train or to divert train traffic onto an adjacent track. Your AD team apparently didn’t have the simple common sense to put a PA far enough down the tracks to provide ample warning in case a train did approach. Those are just two of the very big corners you cut. Shame on you.

  37. Chris Sadler says:

    It’s a shame that the perceived glamour of our business attracts such pathetic posers like Mr. Gant. Your watch, your manslaughter rap… douche.

  38. Arianna says:

    I’ve worked on professional film crews for the past thirty years. On every film, the crew gets together and selects a shop steward to oversee the safety and fair treatment of the crew. Where was this person? Why didn’t he or she speak up, since this situation had all the earmarks of a disaster in the making. And if there was no shop steward yet – some reports says that this was a camera test – then the cinematographer, as the highest ranking crew member, had some responsibility to protect his co-workers. Who was behind the camera, and what was his or her relationship to the Producers or the Studio?

  39. Fredy says:

    I LOVE: These comments… So insightful. Hope this never happens again. So sad.

  40. Brad says:

    Where can I see this email?

  41. art miller says:

    To work on a live mainline railroad track requires an extensive amount of coordination with the railroad company, including Railroad Protective Insurance Policies; a small army of railroad officials on site and at the railroad dispatch center controlling the line segment; roadway worker protection in place per 49 CFR Part 214; crew training; an experienced Railroad Coordinator; bridge fall protection per OSHA and USFRA standards; and senior film project managers that “get it.” Which Mr. Gant clearly didn’t. And still doesn’t.

    • Luluinhollywood says:

      THIS information should be in the article!! Remember a time when it was the journalist’s job to take a little time to research a case to help illuminate the reader on the subject matter..? Now all it seems Variety is capable of is regurgitating the he said/she said without any extra work involved. And all stuff I can find elsewhere first & in more detail in the majority of cases. I hope real journalism comes back someday.

  42. Glen Grip says:

    This is very sad indeed.
    RIP Ms. Jones.

    Any one affiliated with the film/televison industry has more than likely seen at least on incident where the 1st AD and company try to get away with stealing a shot or taking liberties with permits (meaning getting a permit, and then doing more then they are permitted to do.)

    I would like to see a boycott of this film. To send a message to production companies that this behavior is UNACCEPTABLE. When someone is injured or killed there needs to be blame so that we can ensure that it doesn’t happen again. Only someone who is responsible, to some degree, for a tragedy would not want to place blame Mr. Gant.

    “It was weeks of communications and scouting multiple places.” You should have kept scouting until you found an abandoned set of track that met your needs. Weeks must not have been enough.

    I am not a train expert, but i find it very hard to believe that there was an unexpected train. It would seem to me that train scheduling would be done meticulously. It’s not like you can just pull a train onto and head on down the tracks. This tragedy was preventable and someone other than the victims need to be held accountable. For crew members it means we are going to have to attend a new safety class about train track safety.
    As a VOCAL crew member I would have told the 1st AD she was high for even thinking about setting up on live tracks. Someone should be held criminally and financially responsible for this tragedy. BOYCOTT this film and hurt those responsible where it hurts. I know this will never happen, but it would be impressive. While the 12+ producers of this film were almost certainly not present for what i hear was a camera test, they certainly SHARE in the responsibility. That is part of being the boss.

    I hope that those who are suffering on many levels from this heal quickly.

    • Seriously??? says:

      GlenGrip, you should re-read the article. the third train was NOT unexpected – Gant admitted the film crew was given the info for two scheduled trains, but there could be others, each with only a minute’s notice. The train that was part of the incident was NOT unexpected; it just did not have a confirmed schedule.

      And they weren’t just set up on live tracks – they were set up on a TRESTLE! A narrow bridge with no exit.

      This guy Gant is delusional. He accused CSX of trying to cover-up their responsibility. Ya think a mid-sized Hollywood movie project is going to compete with one of the world’s largest transportation companies in court? The movie producers not only put their own crew in danger, they also endangered a mega-ton train and its crew! That train tried to stop and freight cars could be heard banging into each other from miles away. Imagine if some of the cars jack-knifed and pulled the train off the trestle.

      Imagine the trauma of the train crew. And the injuries and trauma of the film crew. And the fatality of the film crew. The only question to be answered is how much insurance money can be recovered and whose lawyer gets there first – the family of the deceased; the film crew survivors (under the threat of being blackballed from the industry, no doubt), the train crew, and last but certainly not least – CSX, who not only had personnel and equipment at risk, but now has been slandered by the offending film crew chief.

      SERIOUSLY!?!?!

      • Luluinhollywood says:

        I think film crew workers should boycott the production company, not necessarily the film. Write open letters. Others looking to find production companies for their projects should run screaming from this company. Individual workers can find other production companies. If crew is vocal, the real perpetrators will be fleshed out. I find Gant’s statements laughable. I don’t need to know anything about the ins & outs of shooting on train tracks to know that common sense would dictate more precautions than a go-ahead with 1min emergency warning. Even if this was guerilla filming, it could have been done 100x smarter to avoid this tragedy! This is not rocket science!

        Any large railroad company would demand more precaution than “Oh- you promise to get outta the way if we give u a min warning, right?…Right?!”

        Not to mention the whole “unexpected” train thing. That train was only unexpected to those who weren’t in communication with the Rail company. And the ONLY REASON they wouldn’t be in communication with the rail company is because that company had no idea they were planning to get on the tracks! Why would a billion+ dollar company risk their name, their cargo, their crew, their lawyer’s time- etc etc by (apparently the picture Gant is painting) just trusting this production company without any of their people to supervise?? They wouldn’t! It’s absurd.

        Anybody with 2 brain cells to rub together can read between the lines. They had permission to shoot on the land. The production probably surreptitiously requested train schedules claiming they need to know for their shots, or to not ruin their shots. The production company rolled the dice & figured they were safe. Then proceeded to lie- either by ommission or flat out- to whomever they needed to.

        I think it’s unfair *yet* to blame even the director or AD necessarily- some directors seemingly know every aspect of what is going on onset, others are in their own little bubble & trust that others have it sorted. It’s not expressly his/her job to micromanage— that being said though I find it highly unlikely that they would not realize they had no Railroad reps on set. Still- I think it needs to wait to be investigated to find out EXACTLY who knew & who was in the dark as to what they really had permission to be doing. As far as boycotting the movie- I think that’s tragic- as anyone who has worked on a movie knows what a labor of love it is for all involved starting at inception- & that production isn’t necessarily one in the same.

        I hope the project finds a way to drop the production house, that the crew bravely stand up with open letters voicing their knowledge of the parties involved, of course that investigators diligently do their jobs, & if the production house is the source of the problem, that CSX, victim’s families, crew, the paper company, & the Georgia film industry as a whole find a way to sue the pants off of them into oblivion. A lot of times Money is Valued over Safety. In this instance the potential cost of working with a company lacking in integrity is BOTH.

      • Seriously??? says:

        Glen Grip, my comment about CSX’s size is that they have much greater priorities than to accommodate a film crew. Add to that the fact that the studio has already pointed the blame to CSX is a blatant example of egotism at its worst. Film-makers feel they can do no wrong, and are above responsibility because of their egos. From what has been posted and reported, the production crew caused great risks to themselves and the landlords (the track owners), and have gone into immediate denial and finger-pointing.

        And regarding the third train being “unexpected”, well the studio person said he was forewarned that if any other trains came through, they would do so with only a minute’s notice, via whistle. Basically, the film crew was told to “expect the unexpected.”

        This is a sad event for all involved, especially the individuals of both the film and train crews (I have no connection to either party). And who knows, maybe CSX was in the wrong and will retract statements in six months, as the studio rep claimed. But I wouldn’t bet on that.

      • Glen Grip says:

        “A third train did arrive unexpectedly, blowing its whistle while the crew was on the bridge and the bed was on the track. Crew members ran toward their base camp, which was on land at one end of the bridge, using a plank walkway on the side of the trestle bridge. However in doing so they ran toward the bed. That proved disastrous.”

        Okay, I read it again to be sure. It does say as you can read above that it was unexpected.

        So I am not sure what exactly the intentions of your comments are exactly.

        As far as your comments about how the lawyers of CSX would eat up any Hollywood Studio, again not sure of the nature of your comments?

        My comment was intended to voice my opinion about the production companies negligence and the tragedy they COULD have prevented. And if you read the last line of my original comment I meant the members of the train crew in the many levels needing healing.

      • Seriously??? says:

        PS – I just looked at CSX’s financials. They averaged 3 billion revenue each of the last 4 quarters. That’s 12 billion a year. They can chew up and spit out any Hollywood studio, and still have room for dessert. This production company is in for a rude awakening, unfairly attacking an adversary much bigger then themselves. This film project is toast, unless another studio picks it up. Too bad for the audience, as The Allman Brothers and Greg Allman deserved much better than this.

  43. Falon Joslyn says:

    Standard safety protocol taught in the safety class you are required to take before shooting on a live track teaches you that in the case of an unexpected oncoming train, you have 60 seconds to clear.
    CLEAR.
    Not, move a large heavy prop, then panic and run the longest path to get out of the way. There is no way that this “Day one” wasn’t full of chopped off corners. Someone should have stepped up and said “NO”. I’m disappointed and angry at the Key, the producers and the 1st AD. 3 people who should have grown a pair.
    It truly saddens me that it took a tragidy such as this to bring to light the work conditions film crews are put through.
    Passion is a crazy thing.

  44. Mark says:

    I fail to see what the distance to the location, the experience of the crew, the length of time in location scouting, or the level of permission required to access the site have to do with the production’s culpability in placing their crew in an unsafe situation and failing to implement standard safety procedures.

    • Luluinhollywood says:

      Oh it’s completely relevant! It’s called thinly veiled (aka transparent) smoke-screening & deflecting! My favorite part was callously calling forth the victim’s wonderful character qualities for the deflection piece de resistance… That alone tells me he is a dirtbag. What on earth does who this poor woman was have to do with who is responsible?? Nothing. And we all know it. They gotta be sweating buckets over there.

    • Georgia AD says:

      Agreed!

  45. Georgia AD says:

    I think it’s highly unlikely that the Railroad would lie in this case.

  46. J.E. Vizzusi says:

    If the actual specific railroad track is not listed as a location then they are in violation of using a location not allowed to them to use which is Negligence. It sounds like, “Hurry up and shoot before the train comes!

  47. KC says:

    Was there a whistle? Did it sound? One minute to get out of the path of a moving train?
    Yeah, right.

  48. Alex A says:

    Enjoy being in and out of civil court for the next 4 years or so, Mr. Grant… Maybe you’ll learn that going the cheap and easy way doesn’t always pan out.

  49. JP says:

    This was the real kicker for me: “We are spending too much time trying to place blame on a horrific accident”… this statement was made by Nick Gant within ONE DAY of the incident. I’d like to see this guy tell Sarah Jones’ parents that they need to stop looking for answers and just “move forward”. I mean, it’s been a whole day, right? Unbelievable.

  50. Bruce says:

    I just followed a link about this tragedy and found myself here. As a 30 plus year Railroad conductor I can assure you I have seen News people, Camera people , Models and lights set up on the tracks as we have come thru. We did not hit anyone they were lucky. I have had my share of hitting and killing people. But the Bottom line is around the tracks you must have a railroad flagman to keep you safe. that will be his only job to keep you safe. We use flagmen to keep our own workers safe as well when they are working around the tracks. So make sure you know who is watching your back so this never happens again.

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