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'Walking Dead' Stuntman Dies After Fall On Set (Photos)

| by Michael Howard

John Bernecker, a stuntman for "The Walking Dead," has died following an accident on set.

Variety reports that Bernecker suffered severe head injuries after falling more than 20 feet from a balcony. He was airlifted to Atlanta Medical Center where he was placed on a ventilator.

Bernecker and an actor were reportedly rehearsing a fight sequence that was supposed to conclude with a routine fall from the balcony, according to Deadline. However, the stuntman lost his balance and fell onto the concrete floor.

Following the accident, Bernecker's girlfriend posted the following to Facebook: "John deserves to be seen by every neurosurgeon and doctor there is until one of them sees the life we all know he has in him and bring him back to us… THIS ISN'T FAIR."

Doctors reportedly turned off the ventilator on July 13 after determining that Bernecker was brain dead. Coweta County Coroner Richard Hawk told Variety that he died from blunt force trauma.

That same day, AMC announced that it was temporarily halting production of the eighth season of "The Walking Dead."

"We are saddened to report that John Bernecker, a talented stuntman for 'The Walking Dead' and numerous other television shows and films, suffered serious injuries from a tragic accident on set," the network said in a statement. "He was immediately transported to an Atlanta hospital and we have temporarily shut down production. We are keeping John and his family in our thoughts and prayers."

Bernecker was an experienced stuntman and fight choreographer. His IMDB page indicates that he worked on numerous films, including "Black Panther," "Logan," "Fantastic Four" and "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2."

He was also an actor, performing bit parts in "Logan," "The Last Witch Hunter," "Goosebumps" and the hit series "True Detective," among others.

A spokesperson for the Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) said the organization is investigating the tragic accident.

"We have been informed of a serious injury to a SAG-AFTRA member on the set of ‘The Walking Dead’ and are investigating the situation," the spokesperson stated. "As always, the safety and security of our members and others on set is of crucial concern to us, and we are focused on this in our investigation. Our thoughts and prayers are with the performer and his family."

A number of Bernecker's colleagues on "The Walking Dead" have taken to Twitter to lament his death.

"Can't stop thinking about John Bernecker," actor Jordan Woods-Robinson wrote, according to Deadline. "All of my love and hopes for solace goes out to his loved ones and our community."

"Much sadness about actor [John Bernecker] today," actress Ann Mahoney tweeted. "Sending peace to his family. Pray for them please."

Addressing Bernecker directly, actor J.D. Evermore wrote: "It was a pleasure to know and work [with] you. May your soul now rest in peace, good, kind sir." 

Sources: Variety (2), IMDB, Deadline / Photo credit: mezclaconfusa/Flickr, IMDB

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