Midnight Rider star William Hurt – who will play musician Gregg Allman in the upcoming biopic – had reservations about shooting on a railway trestle, the site of an accident that killed a crew member in February as the movie was filming in Georgia.
Hurt said he had concerns about shooting on the historic Doctortown Railroad Trestle in Wayne County, Ga., telling a friend in an email obtained by the Los Angeles Times, that he had been “twice assured” that the area was deemed safe for production. According to the email, he then asked, “how long the crew had to get off if by some impossible chance another train came.” The answer Hurt received? Approximately 60 seconds.
“I said, ‘Sixty seconds is not enough time to get us off this bridge.’ There was a communal pause. No one backed me up. Then, we ….. Just went ahead. I took off my shoes, got on the heavy, metal hospital bed and began preparing,” wrote the Hellgate actor. The train arrived and then, shared Hurt, “we didn’t have sixty seconds. We had less than thirty.”
Hurt did not respond to EW’s request for comment.
The accident resulted in the injury of six crew members, who were in the midst of filming a dream sequence on the railroad tracks when the train unexpectedly crossed the bridge. Assistant camera operator Sarah Jones, 27, was struck and killed.
The incident is under investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the National Transportation Safety Board, the Federal Railroad Administration and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. But Midnight Rider producers did not secure the proper credentials and permission to film on the trestle, reports the LA Times, and Wayne County Sheriff John Carter has said there was no railroad representative on site to further secure the area.
Production on the film – directed by Randall Miller and based on the Gregg Allman biography My Cross to Bear – was suspended shortly after the Feb. 20 accident.