According to reports, Bernecker, 33, fell more than 20 feet onto a concrete floor and sustained a serious head injury on Wednesday. He was taken to an Atlanta hospital while AMC temporarily shut down production on The Walking Dead.
“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 at the time. “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.”
Dear Walking Dead Family, please keep John Bernecker, our stuntman and his family in your prayers today. ❤️— Lauren Cohan (@LaurenCohan) July 13, 2017
TMZ reports that Bernecker’s death has been ruled an accident.
Once the news became public, some of Bernecker’s colleagues from The Walking Dead and other projects posted tributes on social media.
John Bernecker was my double on @24fox he brought great enthusiasm and was beyond professional. I miss you bud. Prayers to your family #RIP— Bailey Chase (@Bailey_Chase) July 14, 2017
Can't stop thinking about John Bernecker. All of my love and hopes for solace goes out to his loved ones and our community.— Jordan Woods-Robinson (@jwoodsrobinson) July 14, 2017
Prior to Bernecker’s death being announced, the SAG-AFTRA trade union confirmed it would be 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,” a SAG-AFTRA spokesperson told Variety. “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.”