Tributes pour in for stunt driver killed on ‘Deadpool 2’ movie set
Tributes are pouring in for a female stunt driver killed while working on the Deadpool 2 movie set in Vancouver Monday.
S.J. Harris was killed while performing a stunt in the area of Jack Poole Plaza and the Shaw Tower in downtown Vancouver.
Harris was a professional motorcycle racer from Brooklyn, New York.
Porsche Taylor, Harris’s manager, described her as a “remarkable” woman who loved riding and had a passion for motor sports.
“She was really excited about this opportunity to film and expand her career into stunt riding,” Taylor told Global News.
Taylor confirmed this was Harris’s first film shoot and said she was chosen after a worldwide search and was absolutely experienced enough to do the shoot.
WATCH: Experienced motorcyclist was victim on ‘Deadpool 2’ set
Harris’s death has left everyone — family, friends and fans — heartbroken.
“S.J. was well-loved by her family and friends and she has race fans all over the world that are going to miss her,” Taylor said. “We won’t forget who she was. She left a very big footprint and legacy here in motor sports and we want to continue to tell the world who she was and put a face to the stunt rider, who passed away.”
Diane Price, the chair of the Women’s Coalition of Motorcyclist’s (WCM), has known Harris for about five years.
She told Global News Harris was an “amazing and dynamic woman.”
“Her goal in life was to be the best at anything she was doing and she chose motorcycling for one,” added Price.
Harris was the first black woman in the United States to become licensed in motorcycle track racing. “She basically advocated for women to push through the barriers to becoming a motorcyclist,” said Price.
She said she is getting many text messages and calls about Harris today as the community is devastated by her passing.
Her passion for motorcycling started with her brother and Price said once she had a taste of motorcycle racing, she never looked back.
“Any endeavor that she had, she was just very excited about it.”
Price also said Harris was very excited to be a part of Deadpool 2 and it was a step up in her career.
“The loss is going to extend beyond her immediate family but also to her extended motorcycling family,” added Price. “S.J. was a pioneer, she was one of her kind and finding someone else that can replace her or do what she’s doing, is going to take a while.”
“She was a passionate woman, she was determined, she was dedicated to her goal and she just wanted to see everyone do well.”
WCM was one of Harris’ sponsors and rider advocates.
“We had an upcoming scholarship to encourage female riders to race with her as the trainer,” said Price in an earlier statement. “This is a tragedy and tremendous [loss] to the motorcycling community.”
Harris was performing a stunt for Deadpool 2 Monday morning and had successfully performed it four times before something went wrong the fifth time.
Witnesses said they saw the motorcycle airborne before it crashed through the glass of the Shaw Tower ground-floor studio around 8:20 a.m. It also hit a post before smashing the window.
Emergency crews rushed to the scene but Harris passed away from her injuries.
WATCH: Memorial grows in Vancouver at the scene where Deadpool 2 stunt driver died
A memorial has now sprung up at the site.
A Global News crew that was on the scene said Harris was wearing a helmet when she was practicing the stunt but when the accident occurred she had changed into costume and was reportedly not wearing a helmet because the character does not wear one in the movie.
This was also reportedly her first film stunt.
Many people are taking to social media to honour Harris, including Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds.
He offered condolences to the victim’s family.
“Today, we tragically lost a member of our crew,” Reynolds wrote.
“We’re heartbroken, shocked and devastated… but recognize nothing can come close to the grief and inexplicable pain her family and loved ones must feel in this moment. My heart pours out to them — along with each and every person she touched in this world.”
A major investigation is now underway into what happened.
Filming of Deadpool 2 has been suspended and it’s not known when it may resume.
Deadpool 2, starring Ryan Reynolds, has been filming in Vancouver since late June. Several downtown streets have been closed since last week to shoot scenes involving motorcycles and scooters.
© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.