A stuntman fatally injured on set of The Walking Dead fell head-first onto concrete about 22 feet, an assistant director told authorities.
Assistant director Matthew Goodwin told a responding officer that John Bernecker was supposed to fall from a balcony over a railing onto “a pad made of a layer of 22-inch boxes, port-a-pit pads, and a large pad,” according to a report from the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office.
Austin Amelio, the only actor on the balcony with Bernecker at the time of the fall, told the officer he asked Bernecker if he’d done a fall like that before. The stuntman said he’d done a few but never from that high up, and he “seemed a little nervous,” Amelio told the officer.
Filming began after Bernecker gave a thumbs-up to signal he was ready, Goodwin said. Bernecker got most of the way over the railing and then appeared to try to stop the fall by grabbing the railing with both hands. He hit the balcony, causing him to release his grip and spin upside down as he fell, the report says. (usatoday.com)
Note: Bernecker’s mother filed the lawsuit in January 2018, alleging AMC “orchestrated and enforced a pattern of filming and producing ‘The Walking Dead’ cheaply and, ultimately, unsafely.”(usatoday.com)