Atlanta is a popular place to shoot films and TV shows. However, despite all the benefits that can come with shooting outside of a studio, there are a number of hazards that can be introduced. This can often include unpredictable events that a film or TV crew cannot control. Under these circumstances, it is crucial that the safety of those working on a project is a top priority.
These safety standards may have failed recently when a camera assistant was tragically killed on the set of the movie “Midnight Rider,” which was being filmed in Atlanta. The devastating accident has spurred discussions regarding whether there needs to be changes made to on-set safety guidelines in order to prevent future similar accidents.
According to reports, the woman who was killed was working with a crew near railroad tracks. They were setting up a scene involving a metal bed on the tracks, expecting that a train whistle would sound if a locomotive was approaching and they would have time to remove the bed from the tracks. However, witnesses say that although a whistle did sound, it wasn’t until the train was about 15 seconds away. The bed could not be removed in time and it was struck by the train. Debris from the bed frame hit the camera assistant and knocked her onto the tracks where she was killed by the train.
It is unclear at this time whether the crew was given permission to place objects on the tracks. It is also not known if the required railroad representative was on site at the time or if the crew had been given appropriate warnings of if and when a train was scheduled to come through. An investigation is currently underway and it is possible that safety violations or negligence could be identified.
If this is the case, the victim’s family may choose to take legal action against the appropriate party, which is not uncommon when negligence contributes to a fatality. Not only can a lawsuit result in a financial award for the damages stemming from a wrongful death, but it can also highlight widespread issues and hazards that need to be addressed and fixed in order to prevent future accidents.
Source: Variety, “‘Midnight Rider’ Fatal Train Accident Triggers Push to Improve On-Set Safety,” Ted Johnson and David S. Cohen, Feb, 26, 2014