Survivor of fatal train accident that killed CofC grad talks about deadly ordeal

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A 42-year-old woman who was badly injured in a train accident that killed a College of Charleston graduate during a movie shoot is talking about the incident.

27-year old Sarah Jones was handling the cameras at a movie set in Georgia when she was killed.

Her co-worker, Joyce Gilliard was a hair stylist on the set, and survived the incident.

On Sunday at Royal Baptist Church in North Charleston, the choir was singing "Lord I Know You Can Fix It" and that's exactly what Joyce is praying for.

"I just want to thank God for saving my life, saving me and just keeping me here," Joyce said."Lord that was the most traumatic experience I've ever been in my life."

Last Sunday morning, she went before the congregation and Pastor Isaac Holt, Jr., asking for prayers to help her deal with the tragic accident she was a part of.

During the filming of the movie Midnight Rider, Joyce was part of the movie crew working in a rural area over an hour south of Savannah on the bridge near the Altamaha River.

Two trains passed, when the crew moved onto the trestle over the river to continue filming. That's when the third train caught them by surprise.

"When they said a train's coming, the first thing I saw was the light from the train," Joyce said."And when I realized I was not going to get off of that track, I grabbed onto the bridge, the trestle of the bridge of the train and I held on to tight and all I did was pray,'Lord, please protect me lord, please surround me with your angels lord,' because I didn't know if I was going to make it alive."

"And then the train came and the train was like 5-inches behind me, coming real fast and the strength from the train blew me...the train hit my arm and broke it in half," Joyce said.

Joyce says she grabbed a blanket they were using as a prop, wrapped her severed arm in it, waited for help and continued to pray.

She was flown to Savannah where doctors were able to reconstruct her arm. At this point, she cannot fully extend that arm and she cannot use three fingers on that hand.

She is hoping the prayers of her loved ones and church family will change that. The investigation into the deadly film accident continues.

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