It’s been less than a year since the documentary film about the children’s show icon Fred Rogers — Won’t You Be My Neighbor? — first captured audiences’ hearts at the Sundance Film Festival. Now another film about the beloved host of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood is in production here in Pennsylvania, starring another beloved figure — Tom Hanks.
Tragedy struck the Mt. Lebanon set of the biopic on the evening of Oct. 11. A sound mixer was killed after a two-story fall. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is still investigating the incident. Sony Pictures, the studio behind the film, also said that it’s investigating it.
A newspaper in the 61-year-old crew member’s hometown of Pittsburgh has reported that it’s believed he went to the roof of one of the buildings on the set to smoke during a break and fell over a wall. One television news report indicated that he may have had a heart attack.
People in the area rushed to help him, and medics administered CPR before the sound mixer was taken to a local hospital. He died there — about an hour after the fall. According to the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office, the man, who was employed by TriStar Pictures, died from blunt impact injuries to his torso and head.
In a statement, Sony Pictures called the incident “a devastating tragedy.” Hanks, who was on the set at the time, left later on. Production was placed on hold.
When a loved one is involved in a fatal accident while at work, even if they weren’t working at the time, it’s still crucial to investigate the circumstances around the incident. It’s crucial to determine who, if anyone, can and should be held liable. Families are wise to seek legal guidance to assist them as they search for answers.