Labor officials investigating on-set death of 'Walking Dead' stuntman

John Bernecker, 33, fell more than 20 feet onto concrete from a balcony Wednesday afternoon at Raleigh Studios in Senoia, Ga., which is located 35 miles outside of Atlanta. USA TODAY

A stuntman for The Walking Dead has died after suffering serious injuries on the show's Georgia set.

John Bernecker, 33, fell more than 20 feet onto concrete from a balcony Wednesday afternoon at Raleigh Studios in Senoia, Ga., which is located 35 miles outside of Atlanta. He was placed on a ventilator at Atlanta Medical Center, where he was treated for swelling in his brain, according to TMZ.

He died at 6:30 p.m. ET Wednesday, succumbing to his injuries, coroner Richard Hawk of the Coweta County Coroner's Office confirmed to USA TODAY. The cause was an accidental death, due to blunt-force trauma.

The Hollywood Reporter reports that production of the hit zombie series' eighth season, set to return this October, has temporarily been halted. AMC has not returned USA TODAY's requests for comment.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has launched an investigation into the accident, although no more information is available at this time, agency spokesman Michael D'Aquino said in an email to USA TODAY.

Bernecker has more than 90 stunt credits on IMDB since 2009. His recent work includes blockbusters Logan, Get Out, The Fate of the Furious and next year's Black Panther, along with other TV series 24: Legacy and Claws. A resume posted on iStunt.com lists "high fall" as one of his more than two dozen stunt skills.

Bernecker's passing marks the first on-set death since 2014, when sound man Bryce Dion, 38, was killed during a shootout in Omaha, Neb., while filming TV show Cops. Camera assistant Sarah Jones, 27, was struck and killed by a freight train earlier that year on the Georgia set of the uncompleted Gregg Allman drama Midnight Rider.

Members of The Walking Dead cast and crew shared their condolences on Twitter. 

Contributing: The Associated Press

© 2017 USATODAY.COM


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