The previous statement was a Tweet made by Ryan Reynolds regarding the death of a stunt driver on the set of his most recent film, Deadpool 2.
Approximately 35% of on-the-job injuries are caused by machine accidents each year, as well as 14% of work-related deaths. But this was no ordinary accident — the victim, Joi “SJ” Harris, died in a motorcycle crash. It was her first film as a stunt driver. Not only that, but she has, since the crash, been revealed to be the first African-American professional female road racer, according to Deadline.
Following the crash, all production of Deadpool 2 immediately ceased. It has since resumed and the filming completed.
In 2015, 4,836 workers were killed on the job. That equals 13 deaths every day, and Harris’ death, in particular, is the second production-related death in North America within a month. On July 12, John Bernecker suffered a severe head injury on the set of The Walking Dead and died soon after.
A witness on the scene stated that Harris, an outspoken advocate for female racing, had been filming a stunt that had been rehearsed several times when she lost control of the motorcycle, crashing through a glass window at Shaw Tower on West Waterfront Road near Jack Poole Plaza. She had been playing the character of Domino in the sequence. During the last take, however, the motorcycle seemed to have accelerated instead of decelerated.
Harris was also not wearing a helmet since her character did not wear one in the scene.
One crew member told Deadline that the production schedule for Deadpool 2 has been, like most major Hollywood productions, exhausting, and that many workers feel as though they are being “run ragged.”
“People are exhausted by the schedule,” the crew member said.
“I’m deeply saddened by the loss of one of our stunt performers today. No words can express how I and the rest of the Deadpool 2 crew feel about this tragedy. Our thoughts are with her family, friends and loved ones in this difficult time,” said film director David Leitch.
Perhaps the most heartbreaking words, however, are those of Harris herself.
“I’ve learned to accept that I am not the greatest rider that exists and that there is always something to learn when on track and pushing limits,” she said on her website. “Sometimes I’m going to eat it if I’m impatient. Everything takes time. Face your fears — you never know what you can be missing out on.”