Following reports Thursday that The Walking Dead stuntman John Bernecker had been hospitalized following a fall on set, TMZ confirmed that he has since succumbed to his injuries. Bernecker, 33, had reportedly been on a ventilator since Wednesday, and sources told the site he died in the hospital Thursday evening surrounded by friends and family, including his girlfriend, who is also a stuntwoman on the show. The AMC series suspended production on its eighth season after Bernecker suffered a head injury from a 20-foot fall on set at Raleigh Studio in Georgia. According to Variety, an assistant director told police that Bernecker missed the mat he was supposed to land on “just by inches.” SAG-AFTRA and the Atlanta office of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have launched separate investigations into the accident. Bernecker was a seasoned stunt performer and fight coordinator with over 90 IMDb credits. He worked most recently on Logan, Get Out, and Marvel’s Black Panther.
Update, July 14: Both The Walking Dead’s showrunner and AMC have released separate statements about Bernecker’s death. “Our production is heartbroken by the tragic loss of John Bernecker,” showrunner Scott M. Gimple said in a statement. “John’s work on The Walking Dead and dozens of other movies and shows will continue to entertain and excite audiences for generations. We are grateful for his contributions, and all of us send our condolences, love, and prayers to John’s family and friends.” The cable network added in an additional statement: “We are deeply saddened by this loss and our hearts and prayers are with John’s family, friends, and colleagues during this extremely difficult time.”