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‘The Walking Dead’ Stuntman Missed Safety Cushion by ‘Inches’ (Report)

John Bernecker died after falling 22 feet onto concrete during a stunt gone wrong, according to report

John Bernecker, the “Walking Dead” stuntman who died after a planned fall from a balcony went wrong on set Wednesday, missed a safety cushion “just by inches,” an assistant director told police according to TMZ.

According to TMZ, assistant director Matthew Goodwin told police that Bernecker failed to get good separation from the balcony when he jumped, 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.

“The Walking Dead,” one of the highest-rated shows on cable, is filming its eighth season.

Bernecker’s girlfriend, Jennifer Cocker, placed plenty of blame on the show’s producers for the tragic mishap. TMZ reported that Bernecker was shooting the scene with actor Austin Amelio which called for him to fall more than 20 feet from a balcony.

“Sets need to be safer,” she told TMZ. “There has to be a prerequisite not to put a super professional stuntman with an inexperienced actor who doesn’t know what he’s doing.”

AMC and the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.