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 Post subject: Re: Film crewman killed by train
PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 12:23 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:45 am
Posts: 428
Georgia Public Broadcasting reports there has been a plea deal: Director Of Allman Film"Midnight Rider" Pleads Guilty In Train Crash Death

Quote:
Director Randall Miller pleaded guilty Monday to involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespassing as part of a plea deal.

Under the deal, he will spend two years in the county jail and another eight on probation, and pay a $20,000 fine.

Also, prosecutors agreed to drop charges against his wife and business partner, Jody Savin.

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 Post subject: Re: Film crewman killed by train
PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 1:03 pm 

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Location: Somewhere off the coast of New England
Link from the New York Times:
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2015/03/09/us/ap-us-film-crew-train-crash.html
GME


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 Post subject: Re: Film crewman killed by train
PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 5:44 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2012 4:32 pm
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Warning, accident footage ahead.

http://variety.com/2015/biz/news/midnig ... 201449892/

Why they didn't just drop the props and run, is beyond me.


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 Post subject: Re: Film crewman killed by train
PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 5:53 pm 
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Tavor wrote:
Why they didn't just drop the props and run, is beyond me.

Here are a few likely reasons:
1. They're pros. I actually wouldn't have expected them to just drop their stuff and run if they thought they could save any of it while getting out of the way.
2. The crew probably didn't wanna derail the train with the bed on the tracks, which could have happened. I've seen trains derailed by stuff less substantial than that.
3. They probably had no idea how close that train really was. Ask anyone from operation lifesaver, it's common for people to misjudge the distance a train is from you and how fast the closure speed is.

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 Post subject: Re: Film crewman killed by train
PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 6:59 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
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Location: Northern Illinois
Because they're stupid. A lot of that going around these days. The boss told them they'd have sixty seconds to clear the track, and they thought they'd win brownie points if they did it.

A related story... when I worked for the Chicago Transit Authority in the last century, we always had to be aware of this danger when a new guy was on our crew (foot walk replacement on the "L" structure.) When the flagman blew his horn, we got off the track, and the gang leader signaled the flagman to let the train through. At that point, nobody went back on the track, not for nuttin'. Inevitably, the new guy would leave the chain saw on the track, between the rails with the blade between the ties, where it wouldn't fall, but also wouldn't clear the train. I can remember more than once chanting, "fuck the chainsaw! fuck the chainsaw!" while physically retraining the guy so he wouldn't jump out to try to rescue the saw... who cares about the saw when a life is at stake? Meanwhile, the gang leader would be trying to flag down the train; if he was successful, AFTER IT STOPPED, someone went out and rescued the saw, otherwise the machinists had to order a new handle and whatever other parts.

It was a well known phenomenon that someone worried about screwing up on the job would jump in front of the train, and put himself in danger, just because he didn't want to be the one who screwed up.

We all eventually learned that one saw more or less didn't mean anything... but the new guy didn't see it that way. On that bridge that day, they were ALL new guys.

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 Post subject: Re: Film crewman killed by train
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 12:50 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 10:54 am
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Location: Tucson, Arizona
Dennis Storzek wrote:
Because they're stupid. A lot of that going around these days. The boss told them they'd have sixty seconds to clear the track, and they thought they'd win brownie points if they did it.

A related story... when I worked for the Chicago Transit Authority in the last century, we always had to be aware of this danger when a new guy was on our crew (foot walk replacement on the "L" structure.) When the flagman blew his horn, we got off the track, and the gang leader signaled the flagman to let the train through. At that point, nobody went back on the track, not for nuttin'. Inevitably, the new guy would leave the chain saw on the track, between the rails with the blade between the ties, where it wouldn't fall, but also wouldn't clear the train. I can remember more than once chanting, "fuck the chainsaw! fuck the chainsaw!" while physically retraining the guy so he wouldn't jump out to try to rescue the saw... who cares about the saw when a life is at stake? Meanwhile, the gang leader would be trying to flag down the train; if he was successful, AFTER IT STOPPED, someone went out and rescued the saw, otherwise the machinists had to order a new handle and whatever other parts.

It was a well known phenomenon that someone worried about screwing up on the job would jump in front of the train, and put himself in danger, just because he didn't want to be the one who screwed up.

We all eventually learned that one saw more or less didn't mean anything... but the new guy didn't see it that way. On that bridge that day, they were ALL new guys.
p51 wrote:
Tavor wrote:
Why they didn't just drop the props and run, is beyond me.

Here are a few likely reasons:
1. They're pros. I actually wouldn't have expected them to just drop their stuff and run if they thought they could save any of it while getting out of the way.
2. The crew probably didn't wanna derail the train with the bed on the tracks, which could have happened. I've seen trains derailed by stuff less substantial than that.
3. They probably had no idea how close that train really was. Ask anyone from operation lifesaver, it's common for people to misjudge the distance a train is from you and how fast the closure speed is.


Plenty of merit to both arguments. Safety culture is something that must be learned and rigorously taught to the new tradespeople. Similarly, organizations must decide what their priorities are and safety should always be the first consideration. There were plenty of times that management didn't totally agree with operational decisions that I made as a conductor-based either on cost or time. However, all of them were made well within the scope of my authority and in the best interest of the management of the train.

One of the very first things that was drilled into our new volunteers was that you never occupy the track unless necessary to perform your duties. We also demonstrated to the new guys the "dynamic envelope" of rail equipment and minimum safe distance that they were to remain from any moving rail vehicle (except in performance of duties). In our case, that was fifteen feet. We also had training sessions where groups of trainmen (both veteran and new) would be instructed on the proper way to operate various pieces of equipment (everything from track switches to vehicle related equipment). We would demonstrate the proper method of operation and explain the reasons why our procedures were the way they were.

The bottom line that we communicated to our workers was:

1) never occupy the track unless your duties require you to do so.

2) be alert to what is going on around you at all times.

3) if you must get off the track in a hurry, forget the tools. They can be replaced-you can't.

Have a safe day.

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 Post subject: Re: Film crewman killed by train
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 1:00 pm 

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Location: Morganton, N.C.
One thing is certain and it appears to be proven with this incident... "Common sense" is not as common as it should be!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Film crewman killed by train
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 8:39 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 9:32 pm
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They did run, and they weren't stupid, watch this clip from the crews perspective.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yt5fAkSf8AQ

“The crew probably didn't wanna derail the train” ???

About 15 seconds from the horn sounding, to impact. The hospital type bed got stuck as they all tried to scramble off. I don't think much deep thought about props or equipment went through anyones mind.

This was a fast paced non union shoot from a director who's company was known to save money for the producers with "gorilla style" shooting. His plea deal keeps his wife and producer out of jail, and he gets to serve probably a year in the county lockup instead of the Georgia State Pen. They should have linched him.


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 Post subject: Re: Film crewman killed by train
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:29 pm 
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Location: Pac NW, via North Florida
buzz_morris wrote:
“The crew probably didn't wanna derail the train” ???

About 15 seconds from the horn sounding, to impact. The hospital type bed got stuck as they all tried to scramble off. I don't think much deep thought about props or equipment went through anyones mind.
You couldn't have watched the video. It's clear in it they're trying to drag the bed away from the tracks in each of the two videos that have come out of this. Granted, once they realized the train was closer than they probably thought (a common theme you hear about people who survive such things, just ask anyone involved in Operation Lifesaver) by then I'd agree that they were no longer thinking much of it.
But all those cameras and other things they had? You can watch people moving all the stuff out of the way. Seriously, if they weren't thinking of it, all that stuff would have been dropped right there and crushed afterward, yet hardly anything from the crew was initially damaged from the direct impact of the train by having been left right where it was when the train was first spotted. So, either it all sprouted legs and walked away, or the crew removed it. And really, go back and watch the video where you can clearly and obviously see them doing exactly that (they're even talking about moving stuff, for crying out loud).
So obviously it went through their minds, at least initially.

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Last edited by p51 on Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Film crewman killed by train
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:34 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
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Reminds me of the movie Towering Infernal "It was supposed to be conduit"

It strikes in reality here.


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 Post subject: Re: Film crewman killed by train
PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 1:03 am 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
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Location: Northern Illinois
No, I say they are stupid for being out there in the first place. The woman who lost her life can be excused, not much experience, but some of the old timers should have known better.

The sad thing is all they had to do was put their cameras down and hug the bridge steel, and they all would have been OK, IF they had been able to all move "upstream" of the bed... but no one would leave the stuff, and no one gave any forethought to what they were going to do if a train came. Of course, if anyone would have given it much forethought, they wouldn't have been out there in the first place.

So sad the guy who led them all into that trap will be out of jail in a year. Was he even present on that bridge?

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 Post subject: Re: Film crewman killed by train
PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 11:11 am 

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When I watch this, I get flashbacks.
I'm a retired video engineer and worked remote unit recording when I was in my 20s. You have your nose in your work when crap like this happens. And just about anyone can tell you when your 19 years old you don't think you can die, that's why Marines are willing to charge under fire.
These poor kids, as stringers (non union day workers), knew if they said no to a director they would not have a job the next day. Thats why they were on the bridge, and they were told it was OK. They also knew the equipment they were handling was worth twice what they made in a year. There first instinct was to hang on to it. And some of the smart ones who went to the side against the steel girders were badly injured by flying props and equipment.
The director (like the captain of a ship) but also his producers and other company primaries on site were completly responsible. I think we all agree they should have receiver much more severe punishment.


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 Post subject: Re: Film crewman killed by train
PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 11:14 am 

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More background:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2 ... jones.html


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 Post subject: Re: Film crewman killed by train
PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 12:44 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 10:54 am
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Location: Tucson, Arizona
buzz_morris wrote:

.
The director (like the captain of a ship) but also his producers and other company primaries on site were completly responsible. I think we all agree they should have receiver much more severe punishment.


This is only the beginning of the legal nightmares for the producers and their company. While it would have been nice to have had him and others get a harsher sentence and all of Hollywood's dirty laundry aired, it does set a legal precedent (which is probably most important). Bottom line is that this guy is pretty well out of the business for good. No company worth anything will have anything to do with him or his business in the future (corporate counsel will see to that). Then consider the civil damages that he is likely facing will probably consume a good portion of his future earnings.

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 Post subject: Re: Film crewman killed by train
PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 1:36 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
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Location: Northern Illinois
buzz_morris wrote:
...And some of the smart ones who went to the side against the steel girders were badly injured by flying props and equipment.


That's because the other fools were busy carrying the source of the shrapnel upstream of them.

I only see one gray head in that short film clip; I believe that is the star, William Hurt. You'll notice he was busy climbing over everybody else to get HIS ass off that bridge.

At least he had the good sense to realize his life was worth more than a friggin' bed.

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