‘Midnight Rider’ Production Shutting Down in Wake of Fatal Train Accident

'Midnight Rider' Production Shutting Down in Wake of Fatal Train Accident

Crews sent home with no timetable for return

Production on the Gregg Allman biopic “Midnight Rider” has been suspended indefinitely in the wake of a train mishap that killed a female camera operator's assistant last week, a person with knowledge of the project confirmed to TheWrap.

Sarah Jones, a 27-year-old second camera assistant working for a Savannah production company, was killed on the first day of production last Thursday when a train smashed into a bed the crew had placed on a trestle for a dream sequence they were shooting. Several cast and crew members escaped unhurt, while others were injured by flying debris and hospitalized.

Also read: Crew Member on Greg Allman Biopic ‘Midnight Rider’ Killed During Train Mishap

The future of the film remains in doubt, as there is no timetable for a return and legal and criminal ramifications remain a possibility. Variety reported that the crew was authorized to shoot in the area – but it's not clear whether they were allowed on the actual train tracks – and that a camera rolling during the mishap has been impounded by local authorities who are investigating.

“Midnight Rider” stars William Hurt — who was reportedly on set during the accident and participated in the scramble to remove the bed from the tracks — and Tyson Ritter as Gregg Allman in different stages of life; and Wyatt Russell, son of Kurt Russell, as young Duane Allman.

Emails to the production company, Unclaimed Freight Productions, have not been returned. Open Road, which picked up U.S. rights at Cannes, had no comment on distribution plans.

  • SoCalGuy

    Looks like Greg Allman might be on the hook for manslaughter, if not murder 2. And considering his long history of irresponsibility, it couldn't happen to a more deserving person, either.

    • ka

      sad too say but I agree from reading different things about him his track record does not seem good,I think any movie company that distributes this movie would be doomed to failure,

    • Emily

      I think you're confused. The movie is ABOUT Greg Allman. He has nothing to do with production. It's the heads of production of the film that will have to answer for this.

      • SoCalGuy

        I think YOU'RE the one that's confused – Allman is executive producer of this project, go do some basic research before you make yourself look even more foolish.

        • StyxPhoenix

          Greg Allman is listed as an executive producer (one of about 8) due to the fact that it is based on his autobiography. He's hardly involved in the obtaining of permits and the day-to-day production of the movie, that'd be the director and the production company.
          Before you throw stones, you may wish to do some research yourself into the definition of “biopic”, which Emily defines perfectly above: The movie is ABOUT Greg Allman. So who's foolish now?

          • SoCalGuy

            You apparently don't work in the business, otherwise you'd know that executive producers are ultimately responsible for the actions (and omissions) of the crew below them. At least any good attorney would make that connection at trial, whether a jury agreed is yet to be seen. As to your question about who's foolish now, I'd suggest you look in the mirror for that answer.

          • wildbunny

            apples and oranges people. they did not have permission to be on the tracks and they were trespassing. if they had permission, you can bet CSX officials would have been on set as well. likely production company will be sued

          • SoCalGuy

            “likely production company will be sued”

            Correct (both in criminal and civil actions), and the responsibility for the crew's actions will flow to the executive producers. Whether a jury will find enough evidence to convict Allman (et al) is another story, but they all could very definitely be found liable by a court of law.

          • StyxPhoenix

            And you are giving far too much credit to a guy whose story they are telling who likely knows very little (and thus controls very little) about the actual production process. He's a musician, not a movie maker … he's not calling the shots of the crew, one of the other 8 executive producers is along with the director.

            But again, the point is what Emily said was factual and thus not “looking foolish” … not to dispute what an attorney would do in the yet-to-be-determined case. Of course a lawsuit is going to name everyone remotely involved in the making of the movie … but true culpability is hard to pin on a rock star whose day job isn't making movies.

          • SoCalGuy

            “He's a musician, not a movie maker … he's not calling the shots of the crew”

            Doesn't matter, he's an executive producer and ultimately responsible for the actions of those under him. Go do a little legal research before you make yourself look even more stupid than you already have.

          • StyxPhoenix

            Oh thank you so very much for your concern but I haven't made myself look foolish, you have. And judging by the tired broken record of diatribe you have in your posts, it's a very common occurrence for you. Sorry about that.

            The fact is he's not calling the shots in the day-to-day operations and those folks aren't “under him” … Likely the victim here knew more about film production than Allman. He was an executive producer by right of the story being about him, not because of his production expertise. It's like the celebrity who gets the honorary diploma from a prestigious university they never attended … It's for show. Sorry that's too difficult of a concept for you to grasp.

          • SoCalGuy

            You're a moron who knows absolutely nothing about how our legal system works, much less what's standard practice in the industry. Sorry that's too difficult of a concept for you to grasp.

          • StyxPhoenix

            Wow, again with the name calling diatribe. You really must have a huge chip on your shoulder every morning when you wake up. That's sad, it really is. Especially if you're in SoCal.

            I have plenty of knowledge of our legal system, Mr. Know-it-all. Yes, money-hungry lawyers cast out a wide net when it comes to wrongful death suits, especially on the civil side. Lead with a broad scope and hope for a settlement (again likely by the production company, not Mr. Allman). Being named in a lawsuit doesn't make you at all liable, the facts do. The FACT is that Mr. Allman, regardless of his appointed title as an “executive producer”, wasn't the one responsible for getting the correct permits, etc. As a musician he wouldn't know the first thing about what permits were necessary … that's what the production company does. He was merely a subject matter expert on the topic of the film: HIS LIFE. That's it. You can spin it however you like but no one besides you would hold Mr. Allman responsible for something outside of his true role with production. He's a consultant on his life story to make sure they get that story right … he's not the one telling the camera crew to stand on these tracks they weren't permitted to be on. That guy/girl, whomever it is, has likely already been fired by the production company.

          • SoCalGuy

            You keep flapping your jowls, but only continue to prove how ignorant you really are – about how the legal system work, how the showbiz industry works, etc. etc. etc. It's painfully obvious that you aren't swayed by factual information, so I'll just leave you to wallow in your insular bubble of ignorance.

          • StyxPhoenix

            Three people here have disagreed with you … you're the only one who seems to be ignorant here. Go back to surfing, dude.

          • SoCalGuy

            A majority of people used to think the world was flat, but that didn't make it factually correct. Logic (among a lot of other things) obviously isn't your strong suit, is it? Go back to wallowing in your ignorance, you aren't even remotely qualified to comment on this issue.

          • StyxPhoenix

            Nice try, but your little example proves our point more than your own. People thought the world was flat out of speculation, not fact. Your whole argument is based on speculation and not fact. You can't admit you were wrong when Emily called you out on it originally so you resort to insults and a “smartest person in the room” attitude.

            And you're right … Your failed logic is not my strong suit. Go look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself how smart you are and you'll feel better. And you aren't qualified to speculate on who is qualified or not to comment on this or any other issue. You're an expert of nothing, self-proclaimed expert of everything … Must make your mom proud.

          • SoCalGuy

            Oh, dear – did I hurt your widdle feelings by calling you out on your ignorance and exposing it for everyone to see? Too bad, but that's your problem and not mine.

            Fact is, you don't have a clue about how our legal system works though you continue to make yourself look even more foolish by continuing to flaunt your ignorance. Like I said earlier, it's painfully obvious that you aren't swayed by factual information, so
            I'll just leave you to wallow in your insular bubble of ignorance. Bye, now.

          • StyxPhoenix

            Didn't hurt my feelings at all, but from the broken record of insults and claiming of others’ ignorance I'm guessing your ego gets hurt a lot and that is simply compensation.

            Like I said earlier, I'm not the one looking foolish. I've laid all of my facts out on the table several times and you ignore them to throw more insults. You'd probably make a good criminal defense lawyer, you do nothing but try and change the direction of the conversation to fit your own agenda. The irony here is that you're trying to be a prosecutor because you just don't like the guy. You said it yourself, “considering his long history of irresponsibility, it couldn't happen to a more deserving person, either.”

            I'd say that would get you dismissed from the jury for cause … i.e. bias that would otherwise influence your fair judgement of the defendant. I rest my case.