Lives lost behind-the-scenes: Timeline of fatal on-set movie accidents, injuries

While some on-set accidents garner public attention, others often go unnoticed.

October 23, 2021, 12:22 PM

Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins died Thursday night after an apparent accident involving actor Alec Baldwin and a prop gun while on set for the film, “Rust.”

Baldwin had fired the prop gun, which struck Hutchins and the film’s director Joel Souza, according to a statement from the sheriff’s office on Thursday night.

Hutchins was transported via helicopter to the University of New Mexico Hospital, where she later succumbed to her injuries, authorities said.

Souza also received emergency care, but was released from the Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center on Friday morning, according to film cast member Frances Fisher on Twitter.

Since 1990, at least 43 people have died on sets in the U.S., according to a 2016 study done by the Associated Press, which analyzed data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. More than 150 people have been left with life-altering injuries.

Alec Baldwin spoke out on Twitter to express his condolences Friday morning.

"There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours," Baldwin said, adding that he is "fully cooperating with the police investigation to address how this tragedy occurred."

PHOTO: Halyna Hutchins, director of photography for "Rust", works in an undated handout picture.
Halyna Hutchins, director of photography for "Rust", works in an undated handout picture.
Andriy Semenyuk via Reuters

While several fatal accidents have garnered public attention, like the 1993 shooting death of actor Brandon Lee during filming for "The Crow," others behind-the-scenes often go unnoticed.

August 2017

Stuntwoman Joi "S.J." Harris died while on the set of "Deadpool 2" in Vancouver, a spokesman for the British Columbia Coroners Service told ABC News in 2017.

PHOTO: A police officer photographs a motorcycle after stunt driver Joi "S.J." Harris, while working on the movie "Deadpool 2," died after a crash on set, in Vancouver, B.C., Aug. 14, 2017.
A police officer photographs a motorcycle after stunt driver Joi "S.J." Harris, while working on the movie "Deadpool 2," died after a crash on set, in Vancouver, B.C., Aug. 14, 2017.
Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, FILE

Harris was a professional motorcycle road racer and died after she appeared to lose control of her motorcycle during a stunt and crashed through a window of a building during filming, according to a report released by WorkSafeBC, the legal authority in British Columbia that sets and enforces occupational health and safety standards.

September 2015

Stuntwoman Olivia Jackson was nearly killed after sustaining injuries from a motorcycle crash while on the set of "Resident Evil: The Final Chapter." As a result of the accident, Jackson's left arm was amputated.

Jackson filed a lawsuit in 2019 against the writer and director of the movie, Paul W.S. Anderson, and producer, Jeremy Bolt, claiming that the crash was the result of the production team "elevating financial considerations over safety," ABC News reported in 2019.

PHOTO: Stuntwoman Olivia Jackson lost an arm in a motorcycle accident while filming "Resident Evil: The Final Chapter," in South Africa in 2015.
Stuntwoman Olivia Jackson lost an arm in a motorcycle accident while filming "Resident Evil: The Final Chapter," in South Africa in 2015.
Roland Leon/Sunday Mirror via Newscom, FILE

In April 2020, Jackson won a court ruling in South Africa's High Court, after the judge ruled that the South African-based film crew negligently planned and filmed the stunt, Variety had reported.

February 2014

Sarah Jones, a camera assistant, died while on location to shoot the Gregg Allman biopic "Midnight Rider" in Jessup, Georgia. Jones was killed by an unexpected train after the production crew failed to get proper permission to shoot on the tracks.

Jones' parents filed a wrongful death lawsuit in 2014 alleging the film site was "unreasonably dangerous," ABC News reported in 2014. The lawsuit was eventually settled with several defendants about nine months later, according to ABC News story at the time.

PHOTO: Elizabeth and Richard Jones flip through photos of their daughter Sarah Jones, a camera assistant killed by a freight train while filming "Midnight Rider," in southeast Georgia, as they sit in their attorney's office, in Atlanta, April 9, 2014.
Elizabeth and Richard Jones flip through photos of their daughter Sarah Jones, a 27-year-old camera assistant killed by a freight train while filming "Midnight Rider," in southeast Georgia, as they sit in their attorney's office, in Atlanta, April 9, 2014. After a freight train ran over Sarah Jones as she worked with a crew shooting a movie scene on a Georgia railroad bridge, the film's director spent a year in jail for the 27-year-old camera assistant's death.
David Goldman/AP, FILE

The film's leading director Randall Miller pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in connection with Jones' death in 2015 and served half of his two-year sentence.

September 2012

Michael Bridger, a diver and crew member on the set of "The Lone Ranger," drowned during production.

The Associated Press reported in 2016 that the film paid $61,445 penalty for his death, the highest fine related to a set accident.

September 2007

Conway Wickliffe, a special effects technician, was killed while shooting a stunt for the "Batman" sequel, "The Dark Night."

PHOTO: The Batmobile drives up the red carpet at the European Premiere of the 2008 film, "The Dark Knight," on July 21, 2008, in London.
The Batmobile drives up the red carpet at the European remiere of the 2008 film, "The Dark Knight," on July 21, 2008, in London.
Samir Hussein/Getty Images, FILE

Wickliffe reportedly died in a car accident after his vehicle crashed into a tree at the end of a test run-through, Reuters reported in 2007.

March 1993

Brandon Lee, the son of late martial artist Bruce Lee, was shot in the abdomen after a prop gun misfired while on the set "The Crow."

Lee underwent six hours of surgery before he was declared dead at 28.

PHOTO: Actor Brandon Lee poses for a photo on Jan. 22, 1986. He died while filming, "The Crow," in 1993.
Actor Brandon Lee poses for a photo on Jan. 22, 1986. He died while filming, "The Crow," in 1993.
Lacy Atkins/AP, FILE

Lee's family spoke out Friday about the prop-gun related death of Hutchins.

"Our hearts go out to the family of Halyna Hutchins and to Joel Souza and all involved in the incident on 'Rust.' No one should ever be killed by a gun on a film set. Period," Shannon Lee, Brandon Lee's sister, tweeted.

October 1984

Actor Jon-Erik Hexum died from an accidental self-inflicted gunshot wound while on the set of the television series, "Cover Up."

PHOTO: Actors Jennifer O'Neill and Jon-Erik Hexum pose in a promotional photo for the CBS detective television series, "Cover Up," circa 1984.
Actors Jennifer O'Neill and Jon-Erik Hexum pose in a promotional photo for the CBS detective television series, "Cover Up," circa 1984.
CBS via Getty Images

The 26-year-old actor fatally shot himself in the head with a pro-gun that was loaded with a blank.

July 1982

A helicopter crash on the set of "Twilight Zone: The Movie" killed three actors, two of them children, and injured six.

PHOTO: A crew begins to disassemble the helicopter that crashed on the set of "Twilight Zone: The Movie," killing actor Vic Morrow and two child actors, July 23, 1982.
A crew begins to disassemble the helicopter that crashed on the set of "Twilight Zone: The Movie," killing actor Vic Morrow and two child actors, July 23, 1982. The six people aboard the helicopter were slightly injured.
Bettmann Archive via Getty Images, FILE

The director, an associate producer, the helicopter pilot, the production manager and explosives specialist were tried and acquitted on charges of manslaughter in 1986 and 1987, according to a New York Times article from 1987. The slain actor's family eventually settled and the children's families collected millions from several civil lawsuits.

The incident led to an investigation and years of civil and criminal action against the filmmakers. As a result, new procedures and safety standards in filmmaking were introduced.

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