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New details in ‘freak accident’ that injured crew members during filming of Eddie Murphy movie

Eddie Murphy

VILLA RICA, Ga. — Officials have shared new details about a ‘freak accident’ that injured several crew members during the shooting of a movie starring Eddie Murphy.

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On Saturday, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office asked Georgia State Patrol to investigate a serious two-vehicle crash that occurred on the set of a movie being filmed at Stockmar Airport in Villa Rica.

The Associated Press said the incident happened during the shooting of the film “The Pickup.”

According to GSP, the crash unfolded during a stunt sequence for the movie, involving a GMC C6 armored car and a BMW X5. The GMC C6 was trying to conduct a PIT maneuver on the BMW X5.

At the time of the crash, the BMW X5 had a single restrained driver, while the GMC C6 had a restrained driver and front seat passenger, as well as five film crew members secured in the back of the armored car using belt restraints attached to the vehicle’s walls, troopers stated.

As the front right of the armored car made contact with the back left of the BMW, the armored car’s brush guard became entangled in the wheel well of the BMW. Authorities said this led to both vehicles flipping and veering off the left side of the road, causing them to overturn.

During the crash, the back doors of the armored car opened, ejecting two of the back passengers, who GSP said sustained life-threatening injuries. A third backseat passenger who remained inside the vehicle also sustained serious injuries.

First responders took five people to Grady Memorial Hospital and the remaining three were taken to WellStar Cobb for medical treatment.

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) confirmed to Channel 2 Action News that they initiated an investigation into an incident at the site of Armored Films in Villa Rica on April 21. Since the investigation is open, OSHA states they are unable to provide preliminary or interim information at this time.

The film is currently in production by Amazon MGM Studios.

A studio spokesperson said in a statement to The Associated Press that the scene that led to Saturday’s accident in Georgia had been rehearsed and all safety precautions were taken.

Neither Murphy nor the film’s other stars, including Keke Palmer and Pete Davidson, were on the set at the time.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly.

“It was a completely freak accident,” the person said. “It wasn’t even a complicated or dangerous stunt.”

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The scene was being shot by a second unit in the production, which generally shoots less central scenes not involving the director or principal actors.

“Unfortunately, the sequence did not go as planned and several members of the crew were injured as a result. We are still in the process of gathering facts on what happened and why, but first and foremost our thoughts are with those who are recovering,” a statement to the AP from the studio spokesperson said. “The well-being of the entire crew and cast is our first priority, and we will continue to insist on the highest industry standards of safety while filming. All safety precautions were reviewed prior to and monitored during the shoot.”

The studio did not give details on the injuries or the roles of the crew members who were hurt.

The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, the union representing most film crew members, said in a statement to the AP that they were aware of the accident and have begun an inquiry, but could not yet provide further details.

“The Pickup” has been shooting in and around Atlanta since Feb. 20. It does not yet have a release date, but the production is not expected to be delayed by the accident.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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