"Batwoman": PA Amanda Smith Injured, Paralyzed During Filming; Incident Under Investigation
Two days before production on The CW's Batwoman was shut down over coronavirus pandemic concerns, production assistant Amanda Smith was injured while filming the Warner Bros. TV series in Vancouver. Smith was left paralyzed from the waist down, with serious spinal injuries, including burst vertebrae.
"A valued member of the Batwoman production team was recently injured during the preparation of a filming location in Vancouver. Our thoughts are with her for a speedy recovery. We are working closely with WorkSafeBC to provide any and all requested information. We continue to work to protect the health and safety of all our crews, casts and employees."
– Warner Bros. TV (statement)
The incident occured on March 11 during a location shoot setup at the Georgia Viaduct in Vancouver. Based on the write-up on the GoFundMe page created for Smith, the PA was struck in the head by "the bucket of a [boom] lift" and was then taken to Vancouver General Hospital for emergency spinal surgery. Smith's friend and colleague Tyler Mazzucco (who helped create Smith's GoFundMe page) told the Vancouver Sun that Smith was unable to hear that the machine was in motion due to traffic noise.
The Workers' Compensation Board of British Columbia (WorkSafeBC) is investigating the incident, with family and friends hopeful that time and rehabilitation will help Smith regain sensation in her legs. Deadline Hollywood reports that the show's production team has reached out and offered assistance to Smith and her family.
Here's a look at the the text on the front page of Smith GoFundMe page, which has raised $53,195 of its $100,000 goal:
"On March 11th, 2020 our good friend, and film cohort Amanda Smith suffered a serious accident while at work on-set.
While doing her job as a production assistant, the bucket of a lift lowered onto her head. She underwent emergency spinal surgery to repair the damage. Unfortunately, with this type of surgery, there is no way to know if it was successful until she undergoes significant therapy. She has a burst T-12, and a T-11 ASIA A. She underwent a T-11-T-12 Laminectomy, and is fused from T-10-L2. She is currently paralyzed and cannot feel anything from the waist down, however we are holding out hope that with time and rehabilitation, she might regain sensations in her legs.
Amanda will be unable to work for the foreseeable future and she needs our help to make ends meet until she settles. We do not want her to have to worry about finances as she goes through these uncertain times.
She's been a great contributing member of the community, a great co-worker, and wouldn't hesitate to help any of you in need.
Please show her some love and support, and help alleviate her financial burden. (100% of these funds will go directly to Amanda.)"
Late last year, Batwoman star Ruby Rose explained how two herniated spinal discs during an on-set stunt incident quickly became a matter of permanent paralysis when they were found to be dangerously close to severing her spinal cord:
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