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Movie crew didn’t have permission to film on Wayne tracks?

Special to SEGAZINE

THE SENSELESS tragedy in rural southeast Georgia that killed a young movie crew worker and injured seven others last week sent a shock wave through the local film community and all the way to Hollywood.

Federal and state authorities will eventually report all grim details of what exactly happened, who was responsible and how such workplace disasters can be prevented.

It’s the film industry’s job — and those at the state and local levels who work with filmmakers and producers — to pay attention. And then act.

According to Wayne County sheriff’s officials, Sarah Elizabeth Jones, a 27-year-old camera assistant, was killed when a speeding freight train barrelled across a train trestle over the Altamaha River last Thursday afternoon. Ms. Jones, who had been living in Atlanta, was part of a crew working on a biopic called “Midnight Rider,” based on a 2012 memoir of Southern rocker Gregg Allman, who lives near Savannah. A celebration of Ms. Jones’ life is scheduled Sunday in Atlanta.

Given some of the details revealed so far, it seems a miracle that the death toll at this location shoot wasn’t worse.

Authorities said producers didn’t have permission from CSX Railroad to film on the busy railroad tracks in Doctortown, near Jesup. So what were they doing there? That’s what investigators are trying to sort out.

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