Racing Pioneer Joi ‘SJ’ Harris Identified as Stuntwoman Killed on Deadpool 2 Set

Joi “SJ” Harris via Facebook

Joi “SJ” Harris, the first African-American woman licensed in the sport of motorcycle track racing, has been identified as the person who died during an attempted stunt on the set of Deadpool 2 Monday morning.

Harris, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., crashed through a window on the Vancouver, British Columbia, set, performing a stunt as the franchise’s character Domino, played by Zazie Beetz.

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The New York Daily News reports that Harris had completed the stunt four other times and lost control on her fifth attempt. An eyewitness told Deadline that the bike she was on seemed to accelerate as she took a corner.

She crashed through a first-story window without a helmet, and Vancouver police tweeted that she died on set.

Deadpool 2 was Harris’ first time filming a stunt for a movie.

Harris regularly updated a blog, SJ24z, and noted that she was “the first licensed African-American woman in U.S. history to actively compete in sanctioned motorcycle road racing events.”

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SJ Harris via Facebook

She said she got the motorcycling bug after she was “kidnapped by a few girlfriends and taken to Myrtle Beach Bike Week,” the annual event where more than half a million bike aficionados descend on the South Carolina city.

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Eventually, Harris sought out more experienced riders and organizations “through Google” and found very few women, but the ones she did find, she used for inspiration. Harris also blogged about spending tons of money on proper gear as well as racing schools, and it was obvious that she was passionate about the sport.

Harris received her race license in May 2013 and began racing in 2014 with the American Sportbike Racing Association and Championship Cup Series, according to her website.

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Ryan Reynolds, who plays Deadpool in the films, said the cast and crew was “heartbroken, shocked and devastated” to learn of her tragic death.

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Her family also posted a note on her Facebook page asking for privacy at this difficult time.

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Read more at the New York Daily News and Deadline.

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About the author

Angela Helm

Ms. Bronner Helm is a Contributing Editor at The Root. Mouthy Black Girl. Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Fellow. Shea Butter Feminist. Virgo Sun, Aries Moon.