'Midnight Rider' Hairstylist Sues Gregg Allman, Movie Producers
Joyce Gilliard, who fractured her arm in the train crash that killed camera assistant Sarah Jones, says the incident left her with permanent injuries and post-traumatic stress.
SAVANNAH, Ga. – A member of a film crew struck by a freight train in southeast Georgia while making a movie about Gregg Allman sued the singer and the film's producers Wednesday, saying the collision left her with permanent injuries and post-traumatic stress.
The lawsuit by hairstylist Joyce Gilliard, 43, of Summerville, South Carolina, is the second suit filed in Savannah against the Allman Brothers Band singer and the producers of Midnight Rider. A wrongful death suit was brought last week by the parents of Sarah Jones, a camera assistant killed in the same collision.
Both lawsuits say Randall Miller and his assistants failed to get permission to film on a railroad bridge in rural Wayne County owned by CSX railroad but never told the crew as they placed a hospital bed on the tracks Feb. 20. A train crashed into the bed and killed Jones. Six others were hurt, including Gilliard. Her lawsuit doesn't describe her injuries, but Gilliard has previously said the train fractured her arm as it roared past.
"The pressure from the train was so strong it pulled me off what I was holding on to and it snapped my arm," Gilliard told reporters during a conference call on workplace safety April 23. "I immediately grabbed my arm and wrapped it up with a piece of the prop, which was a sheet."
Gilliard is also suing wood-products company Rayonier, which owns the land adjacent to the railroad tracks, saying the company gave the film crew permission to shoot on its property and had a representative who wrongly told the crew only two trains crossed the trestle each day. Also named as a defendant is CSX. Gilliard's lawyers say the railroad knew the crew was in the area and should have taken precautions.
An attorney for Allman, David Long-Daniels, did not immediately return an email message seeking comment. But Long-Daniels said last week that Allman, an executive producer on the film, had no role in location selection or in the physical shooting of the movie.
Spokeswomen for director Randall Miller and CSX, as well as a spokesman for Rayonier, declined to comment Wednesday. Miller previously said his assistants were in charge of choosing locations and obtaining permits.