A professional stuntman has died following a tragic accident on the set of the hit AMC series The Walking Dead, Variety reports.
John Bernecker, 33, reportedly fell more than 20 feet off a balcony, directly onto a concrete floor. He was transported to a hospital in Georgia, where the series is filmed, and put on a ventilator. Sadly, the performer succumbed to his injuries, which included blunt force trauma.
Bernecker has performed stunts and fight choreography for a number of films, including The Hunger Games: Catching Fire; The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, parts 1 and 2; The Fate of the Furious; 24: Legacy; and Logan, and has been the stunt double for actors like Tony Goldwyn, Kellan Lutz, and Peter Sarsgaard. In a Tweet posted today, Lutz, for whom Bernecker doubled in Love, Wedding, Marriage, called the stuntman one of the most talented he’s ever worked with.
Actor Jordan Woods-Robinson, who plays Eric Raleigh, the boyfriend of main cast member Aaron (Ross Marquand) on The Walking Dead, also joined the outpouring of condolences on Twitter.
At the time of this writing, it did not appear as though any of the main cast members had yet publicly commented on the news.
Bernecker has also appeared on screen as an actor in a few small roles, including The Last Witch Hunter, Goosebumps, and in the first season of True Detective as a mechanic, in the episode titled “Seeing Things.” He is most recently credited with a role as Federale in Logan, and as a stunt performer in Rampage, Black Panther, Game Night, and Escape Plan 2: Hades. His stunt credits date back to 2009.
While AMC has yet to release a statement following confirmation of Bernecker’s death, the network did confirm the accident yesterday, that Bernecker had suffered “serious injuries,” and that they have temporarily shut down production of the show, which is currently filming its eighth season. SAG-AFTRA is also investigating the accident.
In his résumé, posted on his IMDb page, the athletic Bernecker, who stood 6-foot-1, noted loving martial arts, stunts, and firearms, and being proficient at gymnastics, swimming, track and field, and martial arts.