A stuntman has died on the set of hit zombie drama, The Walking Dead, after falling 20 feet from a balcony onto the concrete floor. John Bernecker passed away on Thursday (14 July) surrounded by close friends and family after succumbing to the head injury sustained in the horrific accident two days earlier.
Authorities confirmed the 6' 1" stuntman was rushed to the Atlanta Medical Center after the fall, where he was later pronounced dead. The coroner for the Coweta County Coroner's Office, Richard Hawk, recorded the cause of death as blunt force trauma.
AMC released a statement following the tragedy saying the studio had temporarily halted production on Season 8 of the series in the wake of the accident.
"We are saddened to report that John Bernecker suffered serious injuries from a tragic accident on set," a spokesperson said.
"He was immediately transported to a hospital and we have temporarily shut down production. We are keeping John and his family in our thoughts and prayers."
In an update posted to her Facebook account on Wednesday, Bernecker's girlfriend, Jennifer Cocker, revealed he was in a critical condition.
She wrote: "John deserves to be seen by every neurosurgeon 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."
Besides his work on Walking Dead, Bernecker screen credits include films Logan and the Fantastic Four. He also appeared as an actor in True Detective and Forerunner.