A petition to add late camera assistant Sarah Jones to the “In Memoriam” tribute at Sunday’s Academy Awards surpassed more than 23,000 signatures Wednesday morning. Jones, who worked on the hit CW show “The Vampire Diaries,” was killed when a CSX train struck her last week while working on the Gregg Allman biopic “Midnight Rider.”
Jones, 27, lived in Atlanta and was a native of West Columbia, S.C. Tributes poured in from her colleagues on “The Vampire Diaries,” including stars Ian Somerhalder and Nina Dobrev, executive producer Julie Plec, and actor Steven McQueen.
Dobrev also used her Twitter account to promote the petition to include Jones in the "In Memoriam" segment, which features montages of Hollywood figures who died within the past year.
Pls sign+RT Petition for Sarah http://t.co/SEDDJixsUO
â€” Nina Dobrev (@ninadobrev) February 26, 2014
Dobrev said Jones “had the most beautiful spirit and a smile that lit up our set for years.” She also shared a picture on her WhoSay account in which she is seen posing with “Vampire Diaries” co-star Paul Wesley. Dobrev and Wesley held up a “TVD” slate board that said “RIP Sailor Sarah” in honor of Jones.
Jones was working on train tracks for “Midnight Rider” when a CSX train struck and killed her. Investigators were trying to determine whether Meddin Studios, the company behind the film, had permission to shoot on the tracks, which are owned by CSX, the Los Angeles Times reported. According to Variety, the crew was given a train schedule and stopped shooting to allow two trains to pass, but a third train came by, killing Jones when it took them by surprise. Seven other people were injured in the incident.
Aside from the petition, a Facebook group was created in Jones’ memory called Slates for Sarah. The group posts photos of film crews paying tribute to Jones with some variation of her name on their clapboards.
“Sarah Elizabeth Jones, friend and family to so many, made every day awesome. Show your slate love here along with all the good stories of her life,” reads the group’s description. Slates for Sarah had more than 27,000 likes as of Wednesday morning.
A memorial for Jones was scheduled for 4 p.m. Wednesday at the Ashland United Methodist Church in Columbia, S.C., according to that city’s newspaper, The State. The service will be followed by “A Celebration of Sarah” at 5 p.m. at the Saluda River Club in Lexington, S.C., the Facebook group said.