Transcript for 'Midnight Rider' Director Charged in Camera Assistant's Death
Here again, Chris Connelly. Reporter: 27-year-old Sarah Jones was doing her job. Part of the "Midnight rider" crew instructed to place their equipment and a metal bed on these railroad tracks, only to see a train coming towards them at 57 miles per hour and smashing into the bed. The train hit the bed. It sent shrapnel flying everywhere and she was hit. The shrapnel hit her and caused her to knock -- knock her into the train. Wayne county 911. Can you get my location where I am? We need an ambulance. Someone got hit by a train. Reporter: Seven crew members suffered injuries in the accident. Sarah Jones lost her life. It's clear that certainly the producers and director messed up real bad. It was a live track. There were tracks elsewhere in the vicinity that were not live tracks that could have been used. Reporter: "20/20" found a train trestle just a few hours away where an onsite railroad official was able to shut down train traffic so we could film safely. You go on a railroad track without permission, there's a lot, a big spectrum of what could happen. If the spectrum goes all the way to somebody dies, you just don't do it. Reporter: Joyce Gilliard was recuperating when producer/director Randall miller paid her a visit. He came to my hospital room a couple days after the tragedy happened. He didn't say anything, he just cried. He just cried. Reporter: The Wayne county D.A. Has charged Randall miller and three other members of the "Midnight rider" team with involuntary manslaughter. Involuntary manslaughter carries a maximum of ten years. Reporter: They've each pleaded not guilty and have Everybody is trying to distance themselves from responsibility, saying it was not their fault. Reporter: Finally, there are words from the man at the center of the tragedy, Randall miller. Testifying in a civil suit filed against him by Gregg Allman, the subject of "Midnight rider" and saying one phrase three times. Did you even employ anyone to go down the railroad track maybe three or four miles down to warn people when the train was coming? Unfortunately that's not my job. Do you know where anybody was down that track before the accident occurred? Again, that's not my job. You didn't ask csx how many trains were coming down that trestle, did you? Again, that's not my job. Reporter: Recalling the final warning that was given to his crew -- I heard that if the train were to come that we would have at least 60 seconds. And you actually believed that you could get a metal bed off the track, and the people off the track in 60 seconds? Well I didn't. Yes. Reporter: Claiming he'd gotten the okay for his shoot from a company that owns land next to the tracks. Did you have a written permission, sir, to be on the train track? We had permission from rayonier to be there. Reporter: The company owned the land next to the tracks but not the tracks themselves. Did you see a written permission from csx to put those people on that track? I did not do the permits. I was in the middle of the track and I almost died. Reporter: Sarah Jones did die on those tracks. A statement roadway dpsh -- released tonight says that they believe they had permission to be on the tracks. They had no reason to believe that anyone would be placed in danger and will live with the sorrow of Sarah's death for the rest of their lives. Her death sent shock waves through the filming community. As nothing else had since a helicopter killed three actors, two of them young children, during the 1982 filming of "The twilight zone: The movie." The one thing that the twilight zone incident did do is it helped safety issues for children, and for child labor laws. I think we're seeing the same thing for safety on the set for "Midnight rider" and Sarah Jones. People will not forget Sarah Jones. Reporter: Days afterwards, hundreds of film and TV productions across the nation began to put Sarah Jones' name on their slates, from "Scandal" and "The big bang theory" to "Downton abbey" and "Mad men," all to reinforce the importance of on-the-set safety and to honor her memory. This was, given to us personally by Nina dobrev of "Vampire diaries." I think the latest count was 2,000 slates. Reporter: The "Slates for Sarah" have a special place in the home of Sarah's parents, who were watching as the oscars paid tribute. When you saw her name up on the screen at the academy awards, what were your feelings? Overwhelming. She made it to the academy. She made it. Yeah. Reporter: Earlier this month, heartened by news that there's now a smartphone app for crew members to get backup on safety issues, hundreds took part in a safety walkathon in Atlanta. Never again let someone's daughter die. Reporter: Those in attendance included "The vampire diaries" cast and crew. And her paints -- parents. In my head, she is always walking by me with this smile. And I am in a bad mood, and all of a sudden, I am instantly in a good mood. Reporter: Nowhere is her memory more cherished than on "The vampire diaries" set, where the first shot of the day is called "The jonesy" as a safety reminder. Here we go. The last day I ever saw Sarah we were, we'd rented some bikes and were just bombing around, uh, Amsterdam, and had just the best time together. I feel as blessed as I do that my memories of her are, are so positive and so wonderful and We feel so blessed to have had a daughter, to have had her for 27 years was wonderful. That trial is set for next year. We want to know, have you ever been put in danger by your boss? What happens when you call
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