The National Transportation Safety Board today issued its final report on the Feb. 20, 2014 accident in Jesup, Ga., in which a crew member was killed during the filming of a motion picture. The Board found that the probable cause was the film crew’s unauthorized entry onto CSX Transportation’s right-of-way to film at the Altamaha River Bridge, despite CSX’s repeated denial of permission.
The release of the report came during the first day of a two-day NTSB forum, Trains & Trespassing: Ending Tragic Encounters, which explores the dangers of trespassing on railroad property.
The train was traveling at 56 mph in a 70 mph zone when it struck a prop bed that was to be used in the movie that had earlier been placed across the tracks. Debris from the bed struck some crewmembers on the bridge walkway. One film crew member was killed and six others were injured.
Contributing to the accident was the adjacent property owner’s actions to facilitate the film crew’s access to the bridge and the CSX right-of-way.
“Americans have a longstanding affinity with railroads and railroad tracks,” said NTSB Board Chairman Christopher A. Hart. “But train tracks are private property and are dangerous places where trains kill and injure hundreds of people every year.”
According to Operation Lifesaver, rail trespassing deaths surged 22 percent last year.
The full report can be found here: http://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/AccidentReports/Pages/rab1501.aspx