Vancouver comic paralyzed in serious accident on Batwoman set


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Oct 26, 2009
Vancouver comic paralyzed in serious accident on Batwoman set
Harrison Mooney
March 15, 2020
March 15, 2020 3:41 PM EDT
Amanda Smith was working beneath the Georgia Viaduct when the bucket of a telehandler was lowered onto her head.
A Vancouver comedian may never walk again after a serious accident last week on the set of The CW’s Batwoman.
Amanda Smith, 30, was working as a production assistant beneath the Georgia Viaduct on Wednesday when the bucket of a telehandler was lowered onto her head during filming of the drama.
Smith had her back to the forklift-style machine, also known as a boom lift, and was unable to hear the machine over the sound of traffic from the viaduct above, explained friend and colleague Tyler Mazzucco.
“She was literally just sitting there and it came down on top of her,” he said.
Smith suffered serious spinal injuries, including burst vertebrae, and was rushed to Vancouver General Hospital for emergency spinal surgery. Smith can no longer feel anything from the waist down, although Mazzucco said his friend is in good spirits.
Friends and family are hopeful that with time and rehabilitation, Smith may one day regain sensation in her legs. Smith will remain in hospital for about a month before being transferred to the GF Strong Rehabilitation Clinic’s spinal cord injury program.
On Friday, Mazzucco launched the Amanda Smith Rehabilitation Fund, hoping to raise $50,000 on his friend’s behalf.
“Amanda will be unable to work for the foreseeable future and she needs our help to make ends meet until she settles,” Mazzucco wrote. “We do not want her to have to worry about finances as she goes through these uncertain times.”
The fundraiser is already over halfway to its goal with $26,500 raised in about 24 hours as word spread among Smith’s film connections and fellow stand-up comedians.
“Vancouver comedy, one of ours has had a devastating accident and needs some help,” tweeted local comic Katie-Ellen Humphries.
Vancouver’s film industry has almost completely shut down due to COVID-19 concerns.
“It’s lessened the amount of donations because everyone’s on lockdown financially,” said Mazzucco, who was working Saturday to arrange for Smith to Facetime with people. “I have 32 unread messages on my phone right now and half of them are people asking what they can do because they can’t do anything financially.”
In an email, WorkSafeBC spokesperson Craig Fitzsimmons said the agency is looking into the on-set incident which was reported to WorkSafeBC on March 11.
“I can confirm that WorkSafeBC is investigating this incident,” he said. “We were notified on the morning of March 11 of a serious workplace incident on a film set in Vancouver near Carrall and Pacific Boulevard. We responded and sent a safety officer to the site.”
Production on the first season of Batwoman, which stars Ruby Rose in the titular role, was suspended Friday. The Gotham city drama is part of the Arrowverse, alongside other Vancouver-filmed superhero dramas like Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow.
Hollywood North is a close community and Smith was often in charge of hiring production assistants for various local shoots.
“Even though we’re all working on different shows, we’re still working the same job — we still see each other,” said Mazzucco. “She’s one of ours.”
Postmedia reached out to Warner Bros. Television for comment but had not heard back by deadline.
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