March 23, 2014 9:14pm PT by Kimberly Nordyke
'Midnight Rider' Accident: Sarah Jones' Family Hires Attorney as Lawsuit Looms
A month after Sarah Jones was killed on the set of Midnight Rider: The Gregg Allman Story, her parents have hired an attorney.
The New York Times reports that her family has retained the services of Jeffrey R. Harris at Harris Penn Lowry, a law firm in Savannah, Ga. Harris has been conducting a private investigation in the events surrounding the death of Jones, a 27-year-old camera assistant who was hit by a train during filming.
According to the Times, Harris is expected to file one or more civil complaints related to the accident in the next few weeks.
Harris declined to discuss his legal strategy but said: "There's a lot of pressure on these producers and directors to make these films under budget. It would have cost them a lot more to have the railroad shut down."
The movie's director, Randall Miller, who is also a producer on the film, is represented by Savannah-based attorney Harry D. Dixon Jr., who was the United States attorney for the Southern District of Georgia under the Clinton administration.
The Midnight Rider crash occurred Feb. 20 in Wayne County, Ga., when a crew was sent onto a narrow trestle to shoot on live train tracks. As THR has reported, the cast and crew were told that if a train appeared, everyone would have 60 seconds to clear the tracks. Later, when one did, barreling down on them at nearly 60 mph, one minute was not enough time for Jones and several others on the tracks to escape. Multiple investigations by local, state and federal authorities are ongoing, including a probe into potential negligent homicide.
The night before she was killed, Jones sent text messages to her father expressing concerns about the production she was about to begin work on, her parents revealed in an exclusive interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
"She was a little nervous," said Richard Jones. "She made a comment that some of the people asking her questions should have known more than her."
Added her mother, Elizabeth: "A dollar mark cannot be put on stealing a shot at the risk of someone's life."
Production on the movie was suspended indefinitely in the wake of the accident.