“The Walking Dead” stuntman John Bernecker was pronounced dead on Thursday night after an accident while filming, TheWrap has confirmed with Coweta County Coroner’s office.
Bernecker fell off a 25 foot high balcony on Wednesday afternoon on the set of the show in Georgia. AMC halted production after the stuntman fell and was rushed to Atlanta Medical Center.
Bernecker missed a safety cushion “just by inches,” an assistant director told police, according to TMZ.
Assistant director Matthew Goodwin told police that Bernecker failed to get good separation from the balcony when he jumped, according to TMZ, and even tried to catch himself by grabbing onto the railing. Bernecker’s momentum caused him to slam into the bottom of the balcony and he fell on his head and neck on a spot of exposed concrete next to where the safety cushion had been set up.
Coroner Richard Hawk said Bernecker succumbed to injuries from the fall, including blunt force trauma. His death has been ruled accidental.
Bernecker worked as a stuntman since 2009 — his first gig was the crime thriller “Anytown.” Bernecker’s filmography includes 92 credits as a stuntman and 13 credits as an actor, including a role in 2017’s “Logan.”
He was often employed on AMC shows like “Turn: Washington’s Spies.” Additionally, he did stunt work on “24: Legacy,” “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,” three of the “Hunger Games” films, “Black Panther” and “The Fate of the Furious.”
“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,” a spokesperson for the show said in a statement before Bernecker was pronounced dead.
Bernecker’s fall was originally confirmed by his partner Jennifer Cocker, who posted about his condition on Facebook.