Fans may have to wait a bit longer than usual for the next season of "The Walking Dead." John Bernecker, a stuntman for the popular AMC series, has died after a tragic accident on the show's set in Georgia.
On Wednesday, July 12, AMC halted production on the new season after Bernecker was seriously injured on set. The veteran stuntman fell more than 20 feet onto a concrete floor, suffering head injuries that led to him being rushed to a local hospital.
"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," AMC said in a statement obtained by Variety. "We are keeping John and his family in our thoughts and prayers."
After battling for his life, Bernecker has passed away. He died at Atlanta Medical Center on Wednesday evening from blunt force trauma due to his fall. He was reportedly put on a ventilator after the accident, which was turned off on Thursday, July 13.
According to a report filed by sheriff deputy J.P. Traylor, as cited by The Hollywood Reporter, Bernecker was supposed to perform a routine fall from a balcony over a railing approximately 30 feet onto a 22-inch pad. However, he missed the pad he was supposed to land on by just inches.
The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists union, of whom Bernecker was a member, has opened an investigation on the accident. The Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the incident as well.
AMC did not immediately respond to requests for comment, but said that it had temporarily shut down the production on "The Walking Dead" season 8 after Bernecker's tragic accident.
"The Walking Dead" season 8 is intended to premiere in October.