'Midnight Rider' Director Says Train Accident "Is Ultimately My Responsibility"
Sarah Jones was killed, and several others were injured during filming.
Midnight Rider director Randall Miller has released a statement following his guilty plea earlier this month to charges related to the death of camera assistant Sarah Jones.
On Mar. 9, Miller a guilty plea deal from prosecutors, which included dismissing wife and Midnight Rider producer Jody Savin's charges.
Miller received 10 years of jail time, and his guilty plea bars him from directing a film, taking on a first A.D. role or supervising a film crew for the duration of his probation. The director will also perform 360 community service hours and pay a $20,000 fine.
Jones was killed and several crewmembers were injured on Feb. 20, 2014 by an oncoming train during filming of the Gregg Allman biopic.
Read Miller's full statement below.
On February 20th, 2014, a great number of mistakes were made, and the terrible accident occurred which took Sarah Jones’ life. It was a horrible tragedy that will haunt me forever. Although I relied on my team, it is ultimately my responsibility and was my decision to shoot the scripted scene that caused this tragedy. I pleaded guilty for three reasons: first, to protect my wife and family; second, out of respect for the Jones family and to not put them through a difficult trial; and, third, to take responsibility for my failure in not knowing that every safety measure was in place. The location manager, the production designer, the unit production manager, the cinematographer, assistant director and others all made mistakes that lead to this, but I have taken responsibility because I could have asked more questions and I was the one in charge. I have worked in the film industry as a director for 25 years and never had a significant accident of any kind on any one of my sets. I am heartbroken over this. I hope my actions have spared the Jones family more anguish and that the onset safety measures that were lacking before this terrible tragedy will now take precedence for all in the industry.
Savin also issued a statement:
The accident, which took the life of Sarah Jones, has been tragic for everyone involved. Sarah’s family is broken, and ours too. Our children and I love Randy so much and are trying to be strong for him as he has been so strong and brave for us.
More to come...