Stunt woman Olivia Jackson has performed death-defying stunts for actresses in major motion pictures such as Star Wars, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Mad Max. But in 2015, while filming in Johannesburg, South Africa, on the set of Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, she nearly lost her life performing a stunt.
As reported by the Daily Mail, she was due to film a fight scene that day, but unexpected rain resulted in a forced schedule change. Instead, directors asked her to step in for actress Milla Jovovich in a high-speed motorcycle chase scene.
During the stunt, Jackson’s motorcycle collided with mechanical mobile film camera that was filming the shot. Her horrific list of injuries included having half her face torn off, having to have her left arm amputated, suffering serious brain swelling, and severing a vital neck artery. She was also left with a painfully twisted spine, a permanent dislocation of her shoulder, a severed thumb, punctured lungs, and broken ribs.
The impact of the collision was so forceful that her left forearm was never found, and she was left with a long list of broken bones.
Three years later, and Jackson is fighting a legal battle in the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, to get legal compensation for her many injuries. Jackson is suing the Road Accident Fund, the production and stunt company involved including the camera crane operator, the driver of the vehicle, and the director of the film. Her argument is that the accident has rendered her unemployable, and states that she was previously earning $25,000 a month while working in the UK prior to the accident.
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Goodbye to my withered arm, hello to my stump. Not how I planned my life to go ???? ???? …but just got to embrace what I have & move onwards & upwards ☝???? Luckily I have an awesome supportive team behind me ❤️ @davegstunts #united49
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The stunt, had it gone correctly, was supposed to have Jackson riding her motorcycle at high speed directly at the camera mounted on a mechanical arm on a Mercedes SUV. The SUV was to drive directly towards her, and the camera, which started the shot low, was to rise up and over her head for her to pass underneath it. Unfortunately, the camera didn’t rise quickly enough, and she rode right into it.
To make matters worse, Jackson was wearing a vest top, torn jacket, and khaki jeans, and was not wearing a helmet at the time either because it wasn’t supposed to be in the shot. The heavy camera hit her in the upper body and face.
Jackson spent the next 17 days in a coma after the accident, and doctors didn’t think she would make it. The former stunt woman and professional Thai kick boxer credits her health and fitness prior to the accident with allowing her to survive the brutal accident. While in the hospital, Jackson was gifted with huge bunches of flowers from many of the woman that she has been a body double for in the past, including Jovovich, South African actress Charlize Theron, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, and Karen Gillan.
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