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Danger, death on the tracks on Georgia movie shoot | News

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Danger, death on the tracks on Georgia movie shoot

(WXIA) -- The train trestle in Jessup, Georgia, where Sarah Jones lost her life, is an ancient but solid span of iron that crosses the Altamaha River. It is a busy section of track, with an estimated ten trains using it every day.

Officials say the film crew she was with did not have permission to be on the tracks, just in the surrounding area.

Jones, a camera assistant, was a popular figure in the movie industry. Thousands took time to remember her on social media, and hundreds showed up for her memorial in Atlanta over the weekend.

"She was a one of a kind person," said one attendee. "She was full of a lot of life and laughter she made everything an adventure."

Hair stylist Joyce Gilliard also knew Jones. She was inches away from her when she was killed.

Gilliard suffered a compound fracture when the train that hit them broke her arm.

She gave an eyewitness account of the accident to The Hollywood Reporter. 11Alive spoke with her by phone to confirm the horrific details in that story.

She said the director yelled for everyone on the trestle to run just seconds before the engine roared across. Gilliard grabbed some wires on the bridge and held on for dear life with her one good arm while the train brushed by her.

But in the seconds she had to get clear, Jones couldn't make it to safety.

"Did they take the proper precautions?" asked actor Nick Conti "I don't know how fast that train was coming. Was that an acceptable amount of time?"

Conti runs the Professional Actors Studio in Atlanta. He says he himself was nearly killed in a hanging scene on a film shoot. But because of proper safety precautions, a stunt coordinator saved his life.

He teaches his students not to work where it's not safe. A haunting lesson for many at the studio who either knew or knew of Sarah Jones.

"I was shocked, absolutely shocked that something like that would happen on a movie set," said actor and former stunt player Scott Oakley. "I thought precautions would have been taken care of to make sure nothing like that would ever have happened."


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