An Oscar-winning stunt expert has been cleared of allegations that health and safety violations led to the death of a cameraman during the making of The Dark Knight.
Conway Wickliffe, 41, was killed on the set of the Batman movie in Surrey, England in 2007 after the vehicle he was travelling in hit a tree during the rehearsal of an action sequence.
The father-of-two, who suffered severe head injuries and died at the scene, was said to have not been strapped down during the stunt and special effects boss Christopher Corbould went on trial accused of failing to ensure his safety.
Corbould, who won an Academy Award last month (Feb11) for his work on Inception, insisted proper measures were taken and a jury at Guildford Crown Court in England agreed on Monday (14Mar11) by finding him not guilty of breaching health and safety regulations.
Corbould's solicitor Chris Humphreys confirmed the Oscar-winner was happy with the verdict, telling reporters, "We always thought from the beginning that this was an ill-conceived and misguided prosecution by the Hse (Health and Safety Executive). The police decided within two weeks of this tragic accident that there was no-one to blame and it was a tragic accident.
"World-class actors do not put their livelihoods and wellbeing in the hands of people that don't put their health and safety first. Directors and producers do not entrust that kind of money to someone that doesn't put safety first."