This hits close to home for me because in the past I worked on a few independent films. Never was my life put in danger, nor should it have been. Most of this 20/20 program is devoted to Sarah's death and it features for the first time video footage of the train hitting the bed on the trestle that killed the camera assistant.
I can't believe the arrogance of the producer/director. There's a saying in the movie business: "It's easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission." But this guy seems to take it to the extreme with his "We're trying to make a movie" excuse while breaking the rules. Why would you use a trestle that was in use? The program points out that there were others nearby that were not actively used by trains. At the very least why were they even filming a scene with such a skeleton crew? The impression I get from the program and the new video footage is that there were very few people there. Why would you not at the very least have a couple of people in either direction along the tracks to warn the cast & crew about any approaching trains??? There were no precautions taken whatsoever. There are claims that they had permission to film there, but it looks fishy to me. Where's the proof? The email to the Location Manager says they didn't have permission. And again, why even take that risk by filming on a track that is actively used???
This was a tragedy that should never have happened. I only hope this brings more attention to on-the-set safety. I love the filmmaking business, but it should never endanger lives.
20/20 Do Your #@&*! Job: Sarah Jones Camera Assistant Killed
I cued this up to where the feature on Sarah begins. It runs about 24 min.