WHAT'S NEW - A Round Up Of Recent Serious Production Accidents

A Round Up Of Recent Serious Production Accidents
By Vandana Thanki

Film and television production is – thankfully – a relatively safe industry.  And with so much production going on it’s easy to become complacent about safety.  But accidents do happen and sadly they can be very serious if not deadly.  

Here is a brief summary of some of the serious accidents over the last few years.

The Dirt – Technical Crew Member Accident (2019)

Mr Louis DiVincenti, a technical crew member on the recently released biopic, The Dirt was involved in an electrical accident which left his body with over 50% of third-degree burns and a 2% survival rate. Mr DiVincenti was passing metal pipes to his crew members when one of them made contact with a nearby power line.  He was taken to Louisiana City’s University Medical Centre where he was given multiple skin grafts and had his right foot amputated.

A lawsuit has been filed against Netflix and the Mötley Crüe due to the breach of health and safety precautions during production. It has been reported that Mr DiVincenti is seeking damages including $1.8 million in medical bills. 

L.A.’s Finest – Showrunner’s Accident (2019) 

Bad Boys spin-off series, L.A.’s Finest production accident, caused co-showrunner, Brandon Sonnier’s leg to be partially amputated. Sonnier and his fellow Executive Producer, Brandon Margolis were both injured in the accident on Thursday 21st February with Margolis only suffering a few minor injuries. The accident involved a stunt car crashing into a cargo crate which then affected the ‘video village’ area where Sonnier, Margolis and a few others were watching the stunts on the monitors.An investigation is currently underway to determine how the accident happened and what precautions to put into place to prevent accidents like this happening in the future. 

Power – Crew Member Killed (2018)

The Starz Series, ‘Power’ had to shut down on the production of season 6 due to a crew member being killed on set. 63-year-old Production Assistant, Pedro Jimenez was setting up traffic cones for a scene in Brooklyn when he was struck down by a Ford Explorer. Mr Jimenez was transported to Brooklyn Hospital soon after but was pronounced dead due to blunt force trauma. The production closed down to allow family, cast and crew members to grieve the loss. The NYPD’s Highway Collision Investigation Squad are investigating the event. 

The Walking Dead – Stuntman Killed(2017)

Hit show, The Walking Dead’s production was halted, when stuntman, John Bernecker suffered serious head injuries on set in Georgia. Bernecker was rehearsing a routine fight scene but lost his balance from the balcony, where he fell 30 feet onto the concrete floor below. He was taken to Atlanta Hospital, where his life support was thereafter closed.  Coweta County Coroner Richard Hawk listed the cause of Bernecker’s death an accidental blunt force trauma. The US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigated into the accident. 

Black Earth Rising – Cameraman Killed (2017)

British cameraman, Mr Mark Milsome suffered fatal injuries while filming on the TV drama Black Earth Rising  Mr Milsome was shooting a stunt sequence in Ghana when a stunt vehicle collided with his camera position. 

Deadpool 2 – Stuntwoman Killed (2017)

Stuntwomen, Joi Harris was killed on the set of Deadpool 2 which starred, Ryan Reynods. Ms Harris was playing the character of Domino when she lost control of her stunt motorcycle and crashed into a building in Vancouver. The production of the film halted for two days following of Ms Harris death. WorkSafeBC which manage the occupational safety in the province and the Coroners Service were leading the investigation.