The parents of Sarah Jones, the 27-year-old camera assistant who was killed in a train accident on the Georgia set of "Midnight Rider" in February, filed a wrongful death lawsuit Wednesday, alleging that the film site was “unreasonably dangerous," accusing rock star Gregg Allman and the producers of the film of overlooking "minimum safety precautions" and shooting the scene without permission.
The suit alleges that the defendants -- producers of the film, Allman, as well as the corporations owning the tracks and the land surrounding them -- realized the danger at the site, but failed "to warn the cast and crew," and "actually concealed that danger by leading the cast and crew to believe that they were on the railroad tracks with permission."
Jones' father, Richard Jones, says he hopes the suit will force the industry to reevaluate itself.
“One word that describes how I feel is frustration, that it would have been so easy to prevent this,” Richard Jones told ABC News. “Just simply posting a couple of people down the track to warn them the train’s coming. It was so preventable, it’s frustrating. There’s no movie worth producing that’s going to take someone’s life.”
‘Midnight Rider' Train Accident: 60 Seconds to Escape
Jones was one of more than a dozen movie crew and cast members, including Academy award-winning actor William Hurt, who walked onto an active train trestle high above a Georgia river in Feb. 2014. With the crew was a metal framed hospital bed, a prop for filming a dream sequence for “Midnight Rider,” a film based on the life of Allman.
Before the crew stepped on the tracks, two trains had already passed. The suit alleges that crew members were told there would be no more trains that day, however, were told by at least one defendant that they would have 60 seconds to get off the tracks and remove “themselves, their equipment, and the hospital bed from the trestle bridge.”
The suit states that the crew prepared to film the scene “despite misgivings” about the amount of time to escape.
A third train did approach the narrow century-old trestle, traveling nearly 60 miles per hour. As the train grew closer, the crew scattered, running for their lives and hanging onto the railing. Multiple crew members were injured, but the one person who did not survive was Jones.
“She apparently had gotten just to the side as the train hit the bed, and it was going very fast. It just created shrapnel when it hit that bed, and the shrapnel apparently hit her and knocked her into the train,” Richard Jones said.
Jones was killed instantly. Crew members and Jones’s family think that Jones may have been slowed out of concern for her equipment. Her body was terribly mangled in the accident.
“I was all but out the door, ready to head to Savannah,” her mother, Elizabeth Jones told ABC News, “and the coroner said, ‘Ms. Jones, there’s nothing you can do here. It will be a closed casket and you should stay there and take care of your family.’”
Based upon crew members’ accounts, the Jones family alleges in the suit that the film company lacked everything from spotters along the track and a medic on the set to a basic safety briefing.
“Someone at the scene apparently said, ‘Only two trains go by, we’re good to go.’ The safety briefing in this shoot was, essentially, if a train comes, you got 60 seconds to get off the track,” said attorney Jeff Harris, who filed the wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the Jones family Wednesday.