Production of one of the top-rated drama series has been halted after a gruesome 25-foot fall from a balcony onto a concrete floor.
According to Daily Mail:
Stuntman John Bernecker has died after falling from a 25-foot balcony onto the concrete floor while working on the set of The Walking Dead.
The 33-year-old was airlifted to hospital in Atlanta on Wednesday and his ventilator was turned off a day later surrounded by his friends, family and girlfriend Jennifer Cocker. Production of the show has been suspended.
Sources claimed John suffered swelling to the brain, while a coroner confirmed that he died of blunt force trauma after losing his footing and falling while rehearsing a fight scene.
Richard Hawk, a coroner for the Coweta County Coroner’s Office, said the cause of his death was blunt force trauma.
The swelling in John’s brain had appeared to go down after the horrific accident but then flared back up again, sources told TMZ.
John was said to be ‘brain dead and on life support’ after he lost his footing while rehearsing a scene with an actor.
The scene was meant to end with a fall from the balcony, but went horrifically wrong, Deadline reported.
Friends paid their condolences to his stuntwoman girlfriend Jennifer on social media after learning the tragic news.
‘So sorry for your loss and for the whole Bernecker family. There’s probably nothing anyone can say to make things better. Just be close to one another and try to power through this,’ one wrote.
My condolences to you and your family. I’m a stunt as well as my husband and my heart is broken for your loss,’ another added.
His girlfriend Jennifer wrote on Facebook on Wednesday: ‘John deserves to be seen by every neorusurgeon [sic] 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.
A statement from AMC on Wednesday said: ‘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. We are keeping John and his family in our thoughts and prayers.’
They are yet to release an updated statement. There is also no word on when production on the show might resume.
Audio obtained by TMZ of the 911 call placed by an assistant director following the incident reveals Bernecker had ‘labored’ breathing and was bleeding from his nose.
‘We have a medic here and she’s asking for a flight en route now,’ the caller says.
The caller also explains: ‘He fell off of a balcony. I believe he fell on his back or head. I didn’t see the impact. It’s about 22 feet off the ground. His neck is in the position where he landed though,’ the caller at one point adds.
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