Director of Gregg Allman Biopic: Death of Sarah Jones ‘Will Haunt Me Forever’
Randall Miller, the director of Midnight Rider, the ill-fated Gregg Allman biopic, has issued a statement in which he accepted responsibility for the February 2014 death of camera assistant Sarah Jones. Miller called the accident "a horrible tragedy that will haunt me forever."
Deadline has the full text of the statement by Miller, who pleaded guilty earlier this month to involuntary manslaughter. He will serve two years in prison, with an additional eight years on probation. In addition, he had to pay a $20,000 fine and is banned from being in charge of a film crew for the next 10 years.
Miller's statement reads:
On Feb 20th, 2014, a great number of mistakes were made and the terrible accident occurred which took Sarah Jones’ life. It was a horrible tragedy that will haunt me forever. Although I relied on my team, it is ultimately my responsibility and was my decision to shoot the scripted scene that caused this tragedy.
I pleaded guilty for three reasons: first, to protect my wife and family; second, out of respect for the Jones family and to not put them through a difficult trial; and, third, to take responsibility for my failure in not knowing that every safety measure was in place.
The location manager, the production designer, the unit production manager, the cinematographer, assistant director and others all made mistakes that led to this, but I have taken responsibility because I could have asked more questions, and I was the one in charge. I have worked in the film industry as a director for 25 years and never had a significant accident of any kind on any one of my sets.
I am heartbroken over this. I hope my actions have spared the Jones family more anguish and that the on-set safety measures that were lacking before this terrible tragedy will now take precedence for all in the industry.
Jones was killed last year while filming Midnight Rider on location in Wayne County, Ga. The crew was setting up a dream sequence which involved a bed on a railroad trestle when a train approached and crashed into the bed, and Jones was struck by the train. Seven other people were injured in the accident, which has since raised industry-wide questions regarding on-set safety.
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