‘Walking Dead’ Stuntman Reportedly Died After Missing Safety Cushion by Inches

John Bernecker
Courtesy of Youtube

The Walking Dead” stuntman John Bernecker reportedly died after missing a safety cushion while filming a stunt for the AMC series.

Bernecker was shooting a stunt for the show’s eighth season in which he was to fall off a balcony onto the cushion some 20 feet below, but missed and instead landed on the concrete, according to the Coweta County Sheriff’s Department report obtained by ABC News. Assistant director Matthew Goodwin told police that Bernecker fell “just inches away” from the cushion after it appeared he did not “get good separation from the balcony.”

AMC has not yet commented on Bernecker’s death.

Bernecker died on Wednesday at an Atlanta hospital from the injuries he sustained in the fall. He had been placed on a ventilator, which his family decided to turn off on Thursday night. AMC previously announced that they had temporarily shut down production in the wake of the tragedy.

Bernecker is a veteran stunt performer and fight choreographer. Per his IMDB page, he had worked on projects such as “Olympus Has Fallen,” “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay”  Parts 1 and 2, and “Logan,” among many others. He is also listed as having worked on upcoming films like Marvel’s “Black Panther” and Dwayne Johnson’s “Rampage.” He had also been an actor in several films, with small parts in “Logan,” “The Last Witch Hunter,” “Goosebumps,” and an episode of Season 1 of “True Detective.”

A SAG-AFTRA spokesperson said on Thursday the guild is investigating the accident.

“We have been informed of a serious injury to a SAG-AFTRA member on the set of ‘The Walking Dead’ and are investigating the situation,” said the spokesperson. “As always, the safety and security of our members and others on set is of crucial concern to us, and we are focused on this in our investigation. Our thoughts and prayers are with the performer and his family.”

In addition, the Atlanta office of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) confirmed to Variety on Friday that they have launched their own investigation into the incident.

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  1. St says:

    Why did no one try to save him.. Or move the cushion?? What the hell

  2. Walter says:

    So sad thought and prayers go out to his family may you rest in peace🙏🏻

  3. Jerri Strombeck says:

    Can somebody please explain how he died on Wednesday night and then say his family decided on Thursday night to turn off the ventilator? It DOESN”T MAKE ANY SENSE

    • Jules Casey says:

      He was most likely pronounced brain dead immediately – I am sure the doctors were honest with the family and they in turn did what they felt was the right thing. This happens when one is injured beyond the point of healing & repair – we just don’t hear about it in the news. It is such a tragedy, but I would imagine the family is doing what they know is best for their son/brother/husband.

      My heart goes out to everyone who knew and loved him.

    • mcfilms222 says:

      Sure, I’ll give it a shot. Perhaps the doctors pronounced him dead on Wednesday but left the ventilator active until such a time as the family was ready to remove the device. In any case, a tragic accident. My condolences to family and friends.

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