Stuntman John Bernecker, best known for his work on AMC’s The Walking Dead, passed away on Wednesday, July 12, 2017 following an accident on the show’s set. He was 33 years old.
After falling more than 20 feet off a balcony for a stunt, Bernecker hit the concrete floor and suffered a serious head injury. While rehearsing a fight scene with Austin Amelio (Dwight), Bernecker was meant to fall onto a safety cushion, but missed it by mere inches. In the wake of the tragedy, AMC temporarily shut down production on the show’s eighth season.
Bernecker is a veteran stunt performer and fight choreographer whose list of credits include Olympus Has Fallen, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, 22 Jump Street, Game Night, 24: Legacy, Claws, K.C. Undercover, The Fate Of The Furious, Fantastic Four, The Vampire Diaries, Scream Queens, and Into the Badlands. He also has some acting credits to his name, such as Logan, The Last Witch Hunter, Goosebumps, True Detective, and Freerunner. The stuntman is also listed on upcoming films like Marvel’s Black Panther and Dwayne Johnson’s Rampage.
“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. He was immediately transported to an Atlanta hospital and we have temporarily shut down production,” AMC shared in a statement.