Joi SJ Harris is identified as the Deadpool 2 stuntwoman killed during filming. Performed stunt without wearing helmet cause character didn’t wear one.
Joi SJ Harris has been identified as the stuntwoman killed during the ‘Deadpool 2’ motorcycle crash early Monday morning in Vancouver, Canada.
At the time of Joi Harris‘ death the woman wasn’t wearing a helmet because her character didn’t mandate one.
SJ Harris who billed herself as the first African American female road racer according to a report via people was an advocate for women of color in the road racing game, promoting herself as ‘the first licensed African American women in U.S. history to actively compete in sanctioned motorcycle road racing events.’
Ironically, on Friday, Harris, a Brooklyn, NY native, who went by the nick-name, ‘sj sidewayz’ updated her Facebook with a selfie, writing, ‘EVERYTHING FOR A REASON. #staythecourse.’
At the time of her death, Harris had been the stunt double for Zazie Beetz. A woman donning the costume for the mutant Domino, whom Beetz plays in the film, was spotted on a black Ducati motorcycle in the area for a sequence days earlier.
‘I’m deeply saddened by the loss of one of our stunt performers today,’ Deadpool 2 director David Leitch said in a statement to PEOPLE. ‘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 loves ones in this difficult time.’
According to Deadline, the film had been Harris’s first film as a stunt performer. Of disconcert, Harris wasn’t wearing a helmet during the scene because her character does not wear a helmet. Raising the question, shouldn’t safety trumped aesthetics no matter what, especially in high velocity stunts as the one Harris was about to deploy?
According to the Vancouver Sun Harris’ death occurred just after 8 a.m, Monday morning after losing control of her bike during a stunt, leading her to jumping a curb and crashing through a plate-glass window at Shaw Tower. She was reportedly treated by ambulance personnel but police said she died at the scene.
— Metro Vancouver (@vancouvermetro) August 14, 2017
— Ben Miljure (@CTVNewsBen) August 14, 2017
Metro News reported Harris narrowly missing hitting two pedestrians upon losing control of the bike.
An eyewitness said that the stunt driver completed several rehearsals of the stunt, which involved driving a motorcycle down two ramps across several stairs, earlier that morning.
Told Nathan Kramchynski, ‘She came out, went down the two flights of stairs, and it looked like she kind of hit the throttle because she picked up speed,’
Adding, ‘She was going full throttle’.
To date, 20th Century Fox, the film’s producers declined to address the issue of Harris not wearing a helmet during the accident except to release a statement which said, ‘Our hearts and prayers are with the family, friends and colleagues of our crew member during this difficult time.’
Production on the film has since been shut down following the incident, and it is unclear when it will continue.