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Officials: Film crew hit by train wasn't to be on track

Associated Press

JESUP, Ga. - A movie crew was working on train tracks without permission from the railroad when a freight train crashed into the production team and its equipment, killing one and injuring seven others, a sheriff's investigator said Friday.

The Savannah-based crew was shooting footage for "Midnight Rider," a film based on the life of singer Gregg Allman, when the crash happened Thursday afternoon. Wayne County sheriff's detectives were working Friday to piece together how and why it happened.

The deadly collision took place at a railroad trestle that crosses the Altamaha River in the rural county about 60 miles southwest of Savannah. The tracks, owned by CSX Railroad, cross private land owned by forest-products company Rayonier, which has a nearby paper mill. Joe Gardner, the lead detective on the case, said the crew had Rayonier's permission to film on its property next to the train tracks.

The train struck and killed a woman identified by the sheriff's department as 27-year-old Sarah Elizabeth Jones of Atlanta. Gardner said he didn't know what job she performed on the film crew. Seven others were injured, one seriously enough to be taken by helicopter to a Savannah hospital. Further information on their conditions was not immediately available Friday.

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