Trespassing blamed in fatal Gregg Allman biopic train crash

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 24, 2015 8:12 PM

(Reuters) - A train crash that left one member of a film crew dead and six others injured in Georgia was the result of the crew trespassing on an active railroad bridge, according to a final report on the incident released on Tuesday by federal safety investigators.

The director of the film, "Midnight Rider," about rock singer Gregg Allman, pleaded guilty earlier this month to involuntary manslaughter and trespassing charges stemming from the February 2014 crash in rural Wayne County, about 70 miles (113 km) southwest of Savannah.

Randall Miller, the director, was sentenced to two years in a county jail and eight years' probation.

Camera assistant Sarah Jones, 27, of Atlanta, was killed when an oncoming train tore through the set while she and other crew members installed equipment to film on active train tracks and a trestle bridge.

"Americans have a longstanding affinity with railroads and railroad tracks," said Christopher Hart, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, which issued the report. "But train tracks are private property and are dangerous places where trains kill and injure hundreds of people every year," he added in a statement

(Reporting by Jonathan Kaminsky in New Orleans; Editing by Sandra Maler)