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Walking Dead Stuntman John Bernecker Killed in Stunt Gone Wrong

Sad news from the set of AMC’s hit drama The Walking Dead as a stuntman tragically died filming a sequence for the upcoming eight season of the zombie thriller. John Bernecker was attempting a fall from a 22 foot high balcony and missed the safety cushion. Witness Matthew Goodman, an assistant director, said that Bernecker tried to grab hold of the balcony, realizing he was going to miss the cushion before he fell.

Austin Amelio, who plays Dwight, said that Bernecker was nervous about the jump and had never done a fall from that height before. Both the coroner and sheriff ruled the death accidental and have closed their investigations.

According to Deadline, OSHA and SAG-AFTRA have opened an investigation into how and why the stunt went wrong. OSHA, or The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, is a government agency in the Labor Department that ensures employers provide a safe workplace for employees, while SAG-AFTRA is the labor union that represents almost all screen, radio and voice over actors.

Bernecker was declared dead at 6:30 PM Wednesday at the Atlanta Medical Center. He was 33 years old. Production on season eight of The Walking Dead has temporarily shut down in the wake of the accident, believed to be the first fatal accident related to a stunt in nearly two decades.

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