'Walking Dead' Halts Production After Stuntman Hospitalized for On-Set Injury

Courtesy of IMDb
Stuntman John Bernecker

John Bernecker fell more than 20 feet on a Georgia set and is being treated in intensive care.

John Bernecker, a stuntman on The Walking Dead, suffered a serious head injury Wednesday when he fell more than 20 feet onto a concrete floor on the show's Georgia set, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. AMC said it had "temporarily shut down production" in the wake of the incident. 

The stuntman was medevaced to Atlanta Medical Center, a level 1 trauma center, and is being treated in intensive care. A hospital spokesperson declined to comment or confirm that Bernecker is a patient.

His girlfriend/partner Jennifer Cocker wrote on Facebook, "John deserves to be seen by every neorusurgeon and doctor there is until one of them sees the life we all know he has in him and bring him back to us... THIS ISNT FAIR."

"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," an AMC spokesperson said. "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."

A spokesperson for SAG-AFTRA, which represents stunt performers and coordinators, said: “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. 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.”

Bernecker's résumé lists high falls as among his dozens of specialties, many of which are shown in his reel. His IMDb page lists 105 credits dating back to 2009, with recent work on 24: Legacy, Get Out, The Fate of the Furious and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2. The New Orleans native is believed to be in his early 30s.

The Walking Dead cast and producers had been due to appear at San Diego Comic-Con later this month. It's unclear if this production accident changes those plans. 

July 13, 2:25 p.m. Updated headline and story with AMC statement on show halting production. 

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