A female stunt driver who died on the set of Hollywood blockbuster Deadpool 2 during filming in Canada has been identified.
Road racer Joi ‘SJ’ Harris was killed when she lost control of her motorcycle while performing a stunt in downtown Vancouver, driving off the set and through the window of a building across the street.
“Vancouver police can confirm that a female stunt driver has died on the set of Deadpool during a stunt on a motorcycle,” the Vancouver Police Department said in a statement Tuesday morning (AEST).
According to her website, Ms Harris was the, “first Licensed African American Woman in US History to actively compete in AMA sanctioned, motorcycle road racing events”.
The sequel to the 2016 superhero movie Deadpool starring Ryan Reynolds is being filmed in the Canadian city. Production began in late June.
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The British Columbia government body, WorkSafeBC, said production on the movie was halted after it was contacted by Vancouver police at 8:31 am local time “regarding a serious incident in the 1000 Block of West Waterfront Road”.
“Two officers are inspecting the site for immediate occupational health and safety issues,” it said.
“Three officers are investigating the incident for cause and prevention under the Workers’ Compensation Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation.”
Reynolds, issued a statement about the incident on Instagram, saying he and the crew were “heartbroken, shocked and devastated”.
“Nothing can come close to the grief and inexplicable pain her family and loved ones must feel in this moment,” Reynolds wrote, in a post that has since been liked nearly 300,000 times.
“My heart pours out to them – along with each and every person she touched in this world.”
A 20th Century Fox spokesman said the studio was “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.”
A crumpled motorcycle was seen lying on its side on the pavement outside the Shaw Tower office building, where a window was smashed.
Nathan Kramchynski, who works on the seventh floor of Shaw Tower, told Canadian Press he watched rehearsals of the stunt outside the Vancouver Convention Centre.
The stunt woman had been riding the motorcycle down a set of stairs from the centre and stopped when she reached the street, he said.
— Ben Miljure (@CTVNewsBen) August 14, 2017
But when the accident happened, Ms Harris appeared to pick up speed, crossed the street and swerved to avoid pedestrians before disappearing from his view, Mr Kramchynski said.
“She lost control really quickly,” he said.
“It happened in a split second. She was going full throttle and then there’s a building there.”
A stuntman died last month during production of The Walking Dead in Georgia.
He fell about seven metres onto concrete head-first after appearing to try to grab a railing to stop his fall.
The news follows another stunt accident reported by TMZ on Sunday in which Tom Cruise reportedly crashed into a wall while filming Mission: Impossible 6, and appeared to walk away with a limp.
The extent of his injuries are currently unknown.
– With agencies