The Walking Dead stuntman John Bernecker died on Wednesday after falling from a balcony during a routine stunt practice.


Bernecker, 33, lost his footing and fell 20 feet onto his head. A coroner deemed it death by blunt force trauma from the fall. Assistant director Matthew Goodwin said that Bernecker attempted to halt his fall by grabbing onto a railing, and ended up missing his safety cushion “just by inches.”

Due to the tragedy, production on the eighth season of the zombie drama has been postponed. “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 Thuesday. “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 grief-stricken girlfriend Jennifer Cocker posted on Facebook about the incident. “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 … THIS ISNT FAIR.”

Bernecker had worked as a stuntman since 2009, and has credits in films such as Looper22 Jump StreetThe Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Parts 1 and 2Logan, and the upcoming Black Panther film.

Walking Dead castmember Lauren Cohan, who plays Maggie, tweeted her condolences. “Dear Walking Dead Family, please keep John Bernecker, our stuntman and his family in your prayers today ❤️,” she said.

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