Why the 2014 railroad film disaster still upsets me

Turning on the TV the other night, there was a whole show dedicated to the Alec Baldwin prop gun fiasco. It might have been 20/20 or Dateline, I don’t remember. But for the segment I watched, they recalled the tragic death of Sarah ?? who was working on a film shoot on a Georgia train track bridge.

Because of the negligence of the producer and a few others, no one was prepared and when a train came through, Sarah died. Others were badly injured.

It truly ticks me off every time I think about it. I absolutely hate that the producer didn’t secure a release for this location, and even worse than that, he knew beforehand that he (and therefore, the crew) was going to “steal” the shot, meaning he was shooting on the train bridge with or without a release.

I was in television for many years and learned pretty quickly how important location releases are. That’s part of what ticks me off about this producer and whoever else dismissed the danger. It’s one thing to get a release for a street corner, or a beachfront, or inside a hotel. Not much risk there. But shooting on a narrow train bridge? Are you kidding me!?

This woman, Sarah, had no idea her life was about to be done. Of course, nearly all of us are in the same boat– we don’t know when our last breath will be. But when it’s easily preventable, that’s a big responsibility especially when it’s a work setting.

This show on TV also disclosed that the producer wasn’t really taking ownership of the mistakes made that day. And a little bit of further research shows that he is back working on films. I guess I believe in forgiveness, but this guy is so arrogant and doesn’t seem remorseful, kind, or willing to take responsibility for what happened that day.

Randall Miller is his name. He did plead guilty in the case and served time in jail, but I hope he is shunned from the industry. More importantly, I hope he realizes his role in the tragedy and knows how much forgiveness he needs from Sarah’s family. Paying a fine or whatever compensation he ended up owing isn’t enough.

-Out of the Wilderness

Published by Ben Wilder

Since 2005, I've called Nashville home. I'm the leader of the pack, which includes an 13-year-old beagle and an 11-year-old blue heeler mix. My days include writing, video editing, and other fun activities. Thanks for checking out my blog, I hope you enjoy it!

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