Sarah Jones' Family Urges Moment of Silence as 'Midnight Rider' Anniversary Approaches
It’s been almost two years since the camera assistant was killed by a train in an "entirely preventable" incident, and her parents are working so that such tragedies will never happen again, calling for all sets to take a moment of silence in commemoration.
The Sarah Jones Foundation, founded by the parents of the camera assistant who died in a train crash on the set of Midnight Rider, is urging film, television and commercial sets to observe a moment of silence during the days leading up to Feb. 20, which marks the two-year anniversary of her death, the organization said in a press release.
Jones was struck by a train in rural Georgia as the film company shot on live tracks and a trestle bridge despite being denied a permit. Director Randall Miller pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespass and was sentenced to two years in jail last year, while executive producer Jay Sedrish and 1st AD Hilary Schwartz received probation, while charges against producer Jody Savin, Miller’s wife, were dismissed as part of his plea agreement. A civil case was settled, and OSHA levied a fine, calling the incident "particularly disheartening because it was entirely preventable."
"'Safety for Sarah' urges and reminds filmmakers to be aware that if something doesn’t look right, say something," said Richard Jones, Sarah’s father. "It is our hope that the moment of silence will bring attention so that as a community, we NEVER FORGET what happened to Sarah when safety was pushed aside and to NEVER AGAIN let it happen to another daughter or son."
In the wake of the incident, several safety apps and a hotline (1-844-IA-AWARE) were instituted by IATSE, the International Cinematographers Guild and a filmmaker group called Pledge to Sarah.
The Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit established by Richard and Elizabeth Jones, is asking productions to commemorate their moment of silence this week by posting photos on the Safety For Sarah Facebook page, Twitter @slatesforsarah or Instagram #safetyforsarah.
The organization’s other efforts include an end credits program, education and outreach, and endorsement of a feature documentary We Are Sarah Jones, directed by Eric S. Smith, set to begin production this year. The Jones’s, who live in South Carolina, have been in Los Angeles for the past week with Smith to draw attention to set safety.