Sarah Jones' family wants someone to pay.
Jones, 27, was working as a camera assistant on Midnight Rider, based on the memoir by Gregg Allman about the Allman Brothers Band, when she was struck and killed by a freight train while on location with the crew in southeast Georgia in February.
Her parents have filed a lawsuit against Allman, who is one of the film's executive producers, director Randall Miller and others, reportedly charging that those in charge "selected an unreasonably dangerous site for the filming location; failed to secure approval for filming from CSX; concealed their lack of approval from CSX from the cast and crew ...and otherwise failed to take measures to protect the safety of the Midnight Rider cast and crew."
In addition to Allman and Miller, the defendants named include CSX Transportation, which owns the railroad tracks where the crash occurred; Rayonier Performance Fibers, which owns the land surrounding the crash site; Miller's production company, Unclaimed Freight Productions; and several of the director's assistants.
Reps for Allman have not yet commented on the suit. CSX and Rayonier told reporters that they had not yet been served with any papers and so could not comment.
"Despite the fact that multiple CSX trains passed the Midnight Rider cast and crew on February 20, with those individuals in view of the trains' operators, no warning was given to the subsequent train that ultimately caused Sarah's death," states the lawsuit, filed in Chatham County Superior Court in Georgia.
Production had just gotten underway Feb. 20 on the film, starring Tyson Ritter as young Gregg and Wyatt Russell as a young Duane Allman, when the fatal accident occurred. The crew was shooting a scene on a railroad bridge over the Altamaha River when the train came along and plowed into a metal-frame bed set up n the tracks, killing Jones and injuring six others.
Authorities determined that the film crew had permission to be on the property next to the bridge, but didn't have a permit to be on the tracks themselves. No criminal charges have been filed.
Production was suspended indefinitely after the accident and William Hurt, who was to play the elder Gregg Allman, pulled out of the movie.
Meanwhile, just weeks ago Allman agreed to drop his own lawsuit against Miller to reclaim the rights to his life story, claiming the rights had lapsed due to missed production deadlines. Allman's attorney alleged that the train crash associated with the project had damaged his client's reputation.
The two sides said that they had settled out of court.