Sarah Jones was killed on the set of ‘Midnight Rider’ in 2014 after a train struck her
The death and injury of two crew members on set of Rust has shown that Hollywood needs to do more to protect its workers, said the bereaved father of a camera operator who died under similar circumstances in 2014.
Sarah Jones, who was a camera operator on the sets of Midnight Rider, succumbed to multiple fractures and injuries on her first day of shooting after a freight train struck her in Wayne County in Georgia on 20 February 2014.
Calling the recent death of Halyna Hutchins a reminder of his 27-year-old daughter’s tragic demise, Richard Jones said: “My heart goes out to Halyna’s family, friends and co-workers.”
“I can imagine, having gone through what I have, what they’re feeling right now. But I can’t imagine it because it’s different for them. But it’s difficult — very difficult,” he told Fox News.
Mr Jones and his family have worked to raise awareness and improve safety conditions on film and television sets with the non-profit organisation Safety for Sarah. But the recent accident is a painful reminder, he said.
“It hurts. We’ve been working on this so that it wouldn’t happen again. And yet it has,” Mr Jones said. “I had hoped that Sarah’s death would make a difference. I had hoped that Sarah’s death would even save lives. I would have hoped that Sarah’s death would have saved Halyna.”
Hutchins died on 21 October after Hollywood star Alec Baldwin fired a gun that was being used as a prop on the sets of the movie Rust. Director Joel Souza was injured. The accident has sparked several calls for improving regulations of firearms used on film and television sets, and even led to demands to ban them altogether.
Hutchins was killed by a single bullet that went through her and then lodged in the shoulder of Mr Souza, according to police officials. The bullet was fired from a .45 Lee handgun, and the pellet recovered from Mr Souza’s shoulder is being investigated.
Baldwin wrote in a statement after the incident: “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. I’m fully cooperating with the police investigation to address how this tragedy occurred and I am in touch with her husband, offering my support to him and his family. My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna.”
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The investigation into the fatal shooting is currently ongoing, according to Santa Fe county sheriff Adan Mendoza. In a press conference on Wednesday, Mr Mendona said “no one has been ruled out” when asked whether Baldwin will face charges.