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John Bernecker

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John Bernecker (Image via Twitter)
John Bernecker, a stuntman for the hit horror-drama series “The Walking Dead,” died Wednesday, July 12, 2017, following injuries sustained in a fall on the set, according to multiple news sources. He was 33.

Bernecker fell more than 20 feet off a balcony onto an unpadded floor, sustaining head injuries. Sources told Deadline that the fall was unplanned and occurred during rehearsals for a fight scene on the set of “The Walking Dead” in Georgia. He was taken to Atlanta Medical Center. His family made the decision to take him off a ventilator Thursday.

He had accumulated more than 90 credits as a stuntman dating back to 2009, according to IMDb. He performed stunt work in films such as “Logan,” “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2,” and the upcoming Marvel superhero film, “Black Panther.” He appeared onscreen as an actor in “Logan,” “Goosebumps,” and “True Detective.”

Deaths from stunts are rare in the U.S. Falls, however, have historically been the most dangerous.

“Generally, it’s safer now than it was 20 years ago, and I anticipate it being safer 20 years from now than it was today,” Conrad Palmisano, a member of the stunt and safety committee of SAG-AFTRA, told Deadline. “Usually the planets have to align in all the wrong ways for something tragically to go wrong. When we as the stunt community examine what happened, we look to fix the problem, not to affix the blame.”

SAG-AFTRA, the labor union that represents actors and stunt performers, will investigate the accident.

AMC temporarily halted production of “The Walking Dead” following Bernecker’s death.

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