A 22-year-old stunt worker named John Bernecker died last month on the set of THE WALKING DEAD in Georgia as the result of a stunt gone wrong, a fall of some twenty feet, which would seem paltry considering how frequently stuntmen leap off skyscrapers, until one stops to imagine HIMSELF taking such a fall. The human body is fragile. Bones break easily. Internal injuries occur easily. And it doesn’t take much distance for gravity to generate severe blunt force trauma when a body meets a hard surface. How did it happen? There is an investigation ongoing, but the authorities are not releasing any details to the public.
Anybody smell a lawsuit? A huge settlement won’t give grieving relatives their loved one back, though. Howzabout an OSHA smackdown? Probably. Again, though, too little, too late. Could the accident have really been just a fluke occurrence, a one-in-a-million freak accident? Or was their some negligence involved? I sure hope it turns out to be the former and not the latter. It would be no less sad, but would, I think, be easier to make peace with. Sadly, there WAS suspicious behavior on the parts of some involved with the show: why were all stunt workers ordered to leave the set immediately after the incident, before the police arrived and had the chance to talk to anybody? Why was medical help so tardy in arriving? Why was actor Austin Amelio at the site when the stunt went down, when, according to other stunt workers, he shouldn’t have been? These and other questions must be answered before, and if, we ever learn what really happened.