John Bernecker, a stuntman on AMC’s The Walking Dead, has died after sustaining serious injuries on the show’s set this week. He was 33.
The Coweta County coroner told both Atlanta’s WSB-TV and Variety that Bernecker died on Wednesday night.
Bernecker suffered a severe head injury after falling more than 20 feet to a concrete floor, Deadline reported on Thursday, July 13. “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 told the site the same day. “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’s girlfriend, Jennifer Cocker, opened up about the accident on her Facebook page on Wednesday, July 12. “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.”
SAG-AFTRA announced it was investigating the accident on Thursday. “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,” said the union in a statement to Deadline. “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.”
AMC issued a statement to Us Weekly, saying, “John Bernecker’s family has decided that he will be removed from life support following organ donation. We are deeply saddened by this loss and our hearts and prayers are with John’s family, friends and colleagues during this extremely difficult time.”
TWD executive producer and showrunner Scott M. Gimple added to Us, “Our production is heartbroken by the tragic loss of John Bernecker. John’s work on The Walking Dead and dozens of other movies and shows will continue to entertain and excite audiences for generations. We are grateful for his contributions, and all of us send our condolences, love, and prayers to John’s family and friends.”
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