×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

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

Exec producer replied "That's complicated" to question about permission, says report

The sheriff’s office of Wayne County, Ga., released an incident report that suggests the production company did not have permission from CSX to shoot a scene on a train trestle and in fact may have been denied such clearance.

In the incident report, released  to local reporters on Monday, Wayne County Sheriff Sergeant Ben Robertson writes that he witnessed a conversation between executive producer Jay Sedrish and and employee of CSX. “In my presence, Mr. Sedrish was asked by an employee of CSX if he had permission to be on the trestle or tracks and Mr. Sedrish replied, ‘That’s complicated.’

“According to the CSX employee, the production company had previously been denied permission to film on the trestle, and there was electronic correspondence to verify that fact,” Robertson wrote.

According to the incident report, the e-mail was between location manager Charlie Baxter and CSX employee Carla Groleau.

Sarah Jones was killed when a train unexpectedly arrived at the location on Thursday, when the production crew was planning a scene in which a mattress was laid out across the tracks. Seven other people were injured.

Meanwhile, the production company behind “Midnight Rider” has withdrawn its requests for permits to shoot in the Savannah area this week, a local official said on Monday.

William Hammargren, interim film services administrator for the city of Savannah Film Office, said that the project was scheduled to begin shooting in the area on Monday and the production company had several pending permit requests, but retracted all of them on Sunday.

“We have not issued them any permits and currently have no pending permit requests from the project,” he said.

Unclaimed Freight Prods. is the production company and Open Road Films is the distributor.

Meanwhile, Steven Poster, president of International Cinematographers Guild Local 600, of which Jones was a member, issued a statement in which he said, “Local 600’s membership and IATSE members across the country are mourning the loss of Sarah Jones, a 27-year old camera assistant, who died in a tragic accident last Thursday while shooting on the set of “Midnight Rider” in Savannah, Georgia. Sarah was a smart, talented camera assistant with an infectious personality and a promising career ahead of her.

“When Locals 600 and 491 received the call about the accident on late Thursday afternoon (local time), we immediately sent representatives to the site. We are cooperating with ongoing government investigations including OSHA, and NTSB and the Local Sheriff’s office and we are providing grief counseling for the crew.

“The safety of our crews is of paramount importance to this union and we will work tirelessly to ensure that a tragedy of this kind never happens again.There is no way we can mitigate the pain and the loss of Sarah. But we hope that something good can come out of this very unfortunate situation. It will surely shape our talks with producers in the future. There will be memorials across the country to honor the memory of beloved member, Sarah Jones.”

More Film

  • The Realm review

    Palm Springs Review: 'The Realm'

    The notion that government is one big con directing money into already well-lined pockets is confirmed and then some in “The Realm.” Rodrigo Sorogoyen’s “Michael Clayton”-like thriller has struck a chord in Spain, where the persistence of corruption in the post-Franco era is a popular topic bordering on obsession. But are examples of corruption just [...]

  • Fig Tree review

    Palm Springs Reviews: 'Fig Tree'

    It’s a question integral to much of the current international immigration debate: When war breaks out, who gets to flee and who’s left with nowhere to run? As a child, writer-director Aalam-Warqe Davidian was among a majority of Ethiopian Jews who emigrated to Israel. In her loosely autobiographical feature debut, a teenager facing similar circumstances [...]

  • Jeff BridgesJeff Bridges, who stars in

    Film News Roundup: Jeff Bridges Wins American Society of Cinematographers Honor

    In today’s film news roundup, Jeff Bridges is honored by cinematographers, the “Arctic” filmmakers get a first-look deal and releases are set for “Vault,” the Seth Rogen-Charlize Theron comedy and “What Lies Ahead.” BRIDGES HONORED The American Society of Cinematographers has selected Jeff Bridges as the recipient of the organizations’ 2019 Board of Governors Award. [...]

  • Cate Blanchett's 'Where'd You Go, Bernadette'

    Cate Blanchett's 'Where'd You Go, Bernadette' Moved Back to August

    Annapurna Pictures has moved its Richard Linklater literary adaptation “Where’d You Go, Bernadette,” starring Cate Blanchett back five months from March 22 to an Aug. 9 release. A rep for Annapurna explained that August has served well as a launching pad for release of female-skewing films such as “Crazy Rich Asians,” “Florence Foster Jenkins” and [...]

  • Kumail Nanjiani Issa Rae

    Kumail Nanjiani, Issa Rae to Star in 'Lovebirds' Romantic Comedy

    “The Big Sick” star Kumail Nanjiani and “Insecure” star Issa Rae will topline Paramount’s romantic comedy “The Lovebirds.” The project will reunite Nanjiani with “The Big Sick” helmer Michael Showalter, who’s on board to direct from a script by Aaron Abrams, Brendan Gall, and Martin Gero. The project goes into production at the end of [...]

  • Mj Rodriguez, Nico Santos to Announce

    Mj Rodriguez, Nico Santos to Announce GLAAD Media Award Nominations

    Mj Rodriguez and Nico Santos are set to announce the nominees for the 30th annual GLAAD Media Awards. The “Pose” star and “Crazy Rich Asians” funny man will make the announcement during a live-stream from the AT&T Hello Lounge at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday, Jan. 25. “The images and stories recognized by the [...]

  • 'The Pledge' Review

    Film Review: 'Pledge'

    “Privilege comes with sacrifice” says one character to another in “Pledge” — exactly the kind of noble sentiment authority figures always voice to hush the protests of those about to be sacrificed. This third feature for director Daniel Robbins is no delicate flower of cinematic art, but a lean and mean shocker that tells its [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content