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Steven Poster Responds to Midnight Rider Tragedy

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Steven Poster, ASC, president of IATSE Local 600, International Cinematographers Guild issued a statement yesterday on the tragic death of assistant camera operator Sarah Jones, who was killed on Thursday in Wayne County, Ga. while filming Midnight Rider, a biopic about Gregg Allman of the The Allman Brothers Band, directed by Randall Miller.

“Local 600’s membership and IATSE members across the country are mourning the loss of Sarah Jones, a 27-year old camera assistant, who died in a tragic accident last Thursday while shooting on the set of Midnight Rider in Savannah, Georgia,” said Poster. “Sarah was a smart, talented camera assistant with an infectious personality and a promising career ahead of her.”

The crew was filming on a railroad trestle bridge when a train appeared unexpectedly. Four other people were injured in the accident, one seriously.

“When Locals 600 and 491 received the call about the accident on late Thursday afternoon (local time), we immediately sent representatives to the site,” said Poster. “We are cooperating with ongoing government investigations including OSHA and NTSB and the local Sheriff’s office and we are providing grief counseling for the crew.”

According to reports in Variety and The Hollywood Reporter, the crew did not have permission to shoot on the bridge.

“The safety of our crews is of paramount importance to this union and we will work tirelessly to ensure that a tragedy of this kind never happens again,” said Poster. “There is no way we can mitigate the pain and the loss of Sarah. But we hope that something good can come out of this very unfortunate situation. It will surely shape our talks with producers in the future. There will be memorials across the country to honor the memory of beloved member, Sarah Jones.”

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