MOL

Georgia

A new video shows the terrifying moment a film crew rushed to save the life of Oscar-winner William Hurt.

The crew of the Gregg Allman biopic Midnight Rider can be seen dashing to get him off the tracks of a railroad bridge, along with their equipment, as he lay across the railway filming a scene in Georgia while a train rushes towards him and the crew at breakneck speed.  The other actor in the scene, Wyatt Russell, can also be seen trying to scramble out of the train’s path.

Hurt and Russell somehow made it to safety. But, several crew members suffered injuries. Camera assistant Sarah Elizabeth Jones was tragically killed. She was just 27 years old. The video also shows the crew desperately trying to get a bed off the track, which Hurt was laying on during the scene as they filmed a dream sequence while Russell played the guitar.  Russell, the son of Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, can be seen clearly in the video as he flees with a guitar still on his back. Footage taken just before the tragic incident unfolded was later edited and cut into a scene. It would have been used in the film if production hadn’t been stopped.

Two weeks ago, the film’s director, Randall Miller, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespassing and will serve two years in a county jail and eight years probation while also paying a $20,000 fine. Executive producer Jay Sedrish also pleaded guilty to the same charges and received 10 years probation.  ‘We hope the sacrifice of our daughter’s life will continue to change the film industry,’ Jones’ father, Richard Jones, told reporters outside the courthouse.  ‘I believe it sends a message, frankly, that if you do not respect those you’re in charge of, you may end up behind bars.’ In addition, Hillary Schwartz, an assistant director on the film, was also convicted on charges of involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespassing and also received 10 years probation.

Charges against Miller’s wife and business partner, Jody Savin, were dropped as part of his plea. Prosecutors said all three defendants knew that CSX Transportation, which owned the trestle spanning the Altamaha River, had denied them permission in writing to film on its tracks. ‘It was a horrible tragedy that will haunt me forever,’ Miller said in a statement provided by a publicist. ‘Although I relied on my team, it is ultimately my responsibility and was my decision to shoot the scripted scene that caused this tragedy.’