Tragic news has emerged from the Vancouver set of ‘Deadpool 2’. Joi “SJ” Harris, notable for being the first African-American female licensed to compete in the American Motorcyclist Association races, was serving as a stunt driver in her first film job when she was killed performing a motorcycle stunt.
Production on ‘Deadpool 2’ was immediately shut down and thus far no word has been given as to when filming will resume. Though the accident is still being investigated, eye witnesses have reported that Harris lost control of her motorcycle and “crashed through a plate-glass window at Shaw Tower on West Waterfront Road near Jack Poole Plaza.” Harris spent two full days rehearsing and they “ran the stunt five-plus times before filming.” It appears that the motorcycle accelerated when it was supposed to slow down. Harris was not wearing a helmet, because in the scene, the character she was standing in for was not supposed to be wearing one.
Harris was serving as the stunt double for Zazie Beetz as Domino.
Here is a selfie of Harris from her Instagram page:
‘Deadpool 2”s director, David Leitch issued a statement, saying:
“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.”
Similarly, a spokesperson from 20th Century Fox stated:
“We are deeply saddened by the accident that occurred on the set of Deadpool 2 this morning. Our hearts and prayers are with the family, friends and colleagues of our crew member during this difficult time.”
Star Ryan Reynolds also expressed his sympathy via Twitter:
— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) August 14, 2017
Trish Knight Chernecki, senior manager for WorkSafeBC announced:
“We have five officers on site and two are looking at immediate occupational safety and health issues to make sure the site is safe. The other three officers on site are investigating the cause of the incident and the prevention of future incidents.”
Andy Watson, a spokesman for the BC Coroner’s Service, stated:
“We have opened an investigation. Anytime there is a fatality in the province we investigate. We have a mandate to prevent future deaths and to make any recommendations that could come from our findings.”
Harris, who advocated for female motorcycle racers, said on her website:
“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. 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.”
This accident follows another fatal stunt gone wrong on July 12, on the set of ‘The Walking Dead’, when stuntman John Bernecker, who was portraying a zombie, fell 30 feet onto a concrete pavement just missing the safety air bag he was supposed to land on.
Condolences to those close to Harris. If any other news emerges, we will keep you informed.