Photo via International Cinematographer’s Guild’s Facebook page
Hundreds of people gathered outside the Directors Guild of America headquarters in Los Angeles last night for a candelight walk in honor of Sarah Jones, the 27-year-old assistant camerawoman that was killed on the set the of the Gregg Allman biopic Midnight Rider on February 20. The walk, which was organized by the International Cinematographers Guild (IATSE Local 600), ended with a memorial service outside of the ICG offices on nearby Sunset Blvd.
Hollywood Reporter reports that over 500 family members, friends, fellow union and guildmembers and more turned up for the service. Many in attendance used the event as an occasion to call for a greater emphasis on crew safety during film shoots, noting that Jones’ tragic death was easily preventable. Her parents released a statement ahead the walk, which reads:
We are so overwhelmed with the vast outpouring of love and compassion from not only those who knew our Sarah Elizabeth Jones, but from those of you who never even met her…In her own way, Sarah touched each of you and her passing has left a void in many parts. From her unnecessary death, a cry for change has circled the globe. We are hopeful that this tragedy is just the beginning to making film sets a safer place to work, and that Sarah’s death will not be in vain. At this time, Sarah’s family has chosen not to make any comment and asks that you respect their privacy at this time.
As previously reported, Jones was killed when she was struck by a train while filming a scene for Midnight Rider in Wayne Country, GA. The production did not have permission to be on train tracks, and multiple investigations into the incident are now underway. Local law enforcement officials are treating the accident as a negligent homicide and federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is also investigating. Production on the film has been indefinitely suspended.