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ICG Plans Candlelight Vigil to Honor Camera Crew Member Who Died in Train Accident

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Sarah Jones
Sarah Jones
A candlelight vigil to honor the memory of Sarah Jones, the 27-year-old camera assistant who died in an accident on a shoot in Georgia, is being planned for this Friday, International Cinematographers Guild president Steven Poster told Below the Line. It will likely start near the Directors Guild headquarters on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood. A time will be announced.

During the Oscars broadcast, Jones was also acknowledged toward the end of the In Memoriam segment, a last-minute insertion.

Jones died on Feb. 20 during preproduction for the filming of Midnight Rider, a movie about the late rock musician Gregg Allman, when she was hit by a train on a railroad trestle bridge. Seven other members of the crew were injured. Poster said the ICG was co-operating in concurrent investigations being conducted by the National Transportation Safety Board, the federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration, the National Association of Railroad Safety and the Georgia Bureau of Investigations. At issue is whether the production had obtained advance permission to shoot on the tracks at that specific time.

Poster attended a memorial service for Jones in Columbia, South Carolina, her hometown, on Feb. 27 that attracted 700 relatives, friends and fellow crew members. “It was so moving to be able to spend time with her family and the film family that we have there,” noted the ICG president. A shoot for Vampire Diaries also in Georgia, on which she had worked briefly, shut down for the day and the entire crew traveled to the funeral on two rented buses.

On Sunday another memorial for Jones was held in Atlanta just before the Oscars which attracted several hundred attendees. ICG executive director Bruce Doering told the gathering that IATSE, which gives out a scholarship each year to a son or daughter of a union member who shows interest in doing camera work, would rename the next one the Sarah Elizabeth Jones Scholarship. “Since this terrible accident happened, we’re trying to figure out how this happened and we’re committed to taking the issue of unsafe conditions as far as we can take it – and like Sarah – full-on,” Doering said.

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