Disney Boating Accident
This is an AP News Report for 19 Dec 95 18:54 EST VO754

1 Killed in Disney Film Stunt

NAPLES, Fla. (AP) -- With cameras rolling, a boat being used for a stunt in a Disney comedy careened off a ramp and landed in a crowd of extras Tuesday, killing one person and injured four others.

The scene in "Gone Fishin", starring Joe Pesci and Danny Glover, required the boat to go up a ramp, fly over a hedge of mangroves, land between two boats and stop in the water, said Collier County sheriffs Sgt. jimmy Snell.

Instead, the boat came off to one side of the ramp and flipped upside-down, hitting the two boats, which then hit the extras.

Stunt doubles for Pesci and Glover were in the boat, witnesses said. Extra Gary Beyrent and another extra who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they saw the stuntman for Glover dangling as the boats flipped off the ramp.

"The last I saw him, he was clinging on with one hand to the boat while ... the two legs and his other arm were straight up in the air," the extra said. "He survived but I know he's injured."

The Florida Marine Patrol identified the victim as Janet Wilder, 29. A police source said she was holding the hand of her stuntman husband, Scott, when hit.

Neither Glover nor Pesci was believed hurt.

The movie, which also stars Rosanna Arquette, Lynn Whitfield, and Nick Brimble, is about what can go wrong when two New Jersey guys (Pesci and Glover) win a dream fishing trip to Florida.

It is being filmed in the Big Cypress Swamp on Florida's southwest tip in the Everglades.

Numerous calls to a Disney publicist in Naples were not returned. Calls to Disney's film production headquarters in Los Angeles were referred to the Naples spokeswoman.

On Monday, the crew filmed the aftermath of the boat scene in which the boat cleared the mangrove jump and careened into a bandstand area where a bathing suit contest was being held, Beyrent said. On Tuesday, the filming was the jump itself.

Interviewed for a story about the film Monday, director Christopher Kane said he did't like the way the stunt came out.

"It's not an exact science," he said."This particular frame has never been done before. Most times you do a stunt it's the first time it's been done. You're guessing how fast, how far."

He said after Monday's shooting that the boat wasn't going fast enough, "so tomorrow it will probably go too fast and go further than we expected."

"Beyrent said he and other extras were concerned they were in a dangerous position for Tuesday's shot.

"I was standing there, like everyone else, saying I think we're a little too close for this," he said. "We didn't have any direction. They let us stand wherever we wanted.

"They really didn't look into the other possibilities, if this guy doesn't hit this ramp right , where's this boat going to go?" Beyrent said. "It can only go right or left of this ramp. If it went right, Joe Pesci wouldn't be here anymore.

The stunt wasn't the first fatal accident for Hollywood.

On March 31, 1993, actor Brandon Lee was accidentally killed by a .44 \-caliber slug during the filming of "The Crow." The slug was fired from a prop gun that was supposed to be loaded with blanks.

On January 3, 1992, a worker was crushed to death between two lighting equipment cranes on the set of the Kevin Costner movie "The Bodyguard."

In 1982, actor Vic Morrow and two children were killed when a helicopter fell on them during filming of a special-effects sequence for the movie "The Twilight Zone."

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