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‘Walking Dead’ Stuntman Dies in On-Set Accident

Stunt performer John Bernecker has died from injuries he sustained during filming of AMC’s hit zombie thriller The Walking Dead. 

Bernecker’s death was confirmed by Coweta County, Georgia, coroner Richard Awk, WSBTV reports. He died Wednesday evening at Atlanta Medical Center. He was 25.

Bernecker had apparently fallen 25 feet off a balcony, hitting his head on a concrete floor. The trauma was severe, and he was rushed by helicopter to a nearby hospital in Atlanta.

AMC temporarily shut down production for Season 8 Thursday in the wake of the incident, Variety reports.

IMDb lists more than 90 stunt credits since 2009 for Bernecker, who was widely regarded as a veteran stuntman. He has worked on major Hollywood projects, including Marvel’s forthcoming Black Panther, The Fate of the Furious, and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2. 

In an emotional Facebook message, Bernecker’s girlfriend, Jennifer Cocker, made a plea for her loved one. “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,” she wrote. “THIS ISNT FAIR.”

A SAG-AFTRA spokesperson announced that the organization, which represents stunt performers, has opened an investigation into the accident.

“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,” AMC said in a statement on Thursday. “He was immediately transported to an Atlanta hospital and we have temporarily shut down production.”

Watch a montage of some of Bernecker’s best stunts from 2016.

 

Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter: @jeromeehudson

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