CHICAGO (CBS) – A woman who was severely injured while working as an extra on the set of Transformers 3 is suing over the stunt that caused her injuries.
CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole reports that Gabriela Cedillo, 24, was left paralyzed on much of the left side of her body after a crash while filming a stunt in Hammond, Ind.
Video posted on the website Radar Online captured the stunt that went horribly wrong. In it, you can see vehicles driven by extras moving along a road in Hammond, Ind., on Sept. 1, 2010.
But Cedillo’s vehicle was not supposed to crash. A piece of metal nearly two feet thick called a j-hook apparently broke free during filming and smashed into Cedillo’s windshield, striking her in the head.
“From what I know as an extra you are in the background you are walking around you would never think you would be put in danger,” her brother, Adolfo Romo said Tuesday.
Cedillo dreamed of becoming an actress and was a girl intrigued by films, her brother said.
The accident caused her to lose part of her brain. She remained hospitalized as of Tuesday, unable to walk. She can mouth and write only a few words.
“I love you and stuff like that and everything is going to be ok,” Romo said. “We just want to help her get by. She is in a lot of pain.”
Most of the scenes for Transformers 3 were shot in Chicago, but during the scene filmed on a vacant road in Hammond, Ind., flatbeds towed empty stunt cars using cables designed to flip the cars over on cue.
In the opposite lanes, just feet away, as many as 80 extras in their own cars were driving by. Attorneys said Tuesday that extras were not made aware of the possible dangers.
“They are not at risk for something breaking away at high speed they are not at risk for being within a matter of 10, 15, 20 feet of the stunt going on,” attorney Todd Smith said. He claimed that just one day earlier, the same stunt failed, causing crews to hastily rig replacement cars.
In a statement, Paramount Pictures said Tuesday that “our thoughts, prayers and best wishes are with Gabriela. … The production will continue to provide all the help we can to Gabriela and her family during this difficult time.”
Cedillo’s own car reportedly traveled more than a mile before crashing into a roadside barrier. It’s unknown if she was conscious for any of that.
The portion of Cline Avenue where the filming took place was already closed at the time of the accident because of construction work and demolition.
The state closed a four-mile stretch of Cline Avenue — between Michigan Avenue and Calumet Avenue — in November of last year due to corrosion in the supports for the elevated bridge.
The state plans to demolish the section from Michigan Avenue to Riley Road over the next three years.
The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.