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Stuntman injured on "The Walking Dead" set declared brain dead

The stuntman seriously injured on the set of AMC hit "The Walking Dead" has been declared brain dead.

John Bernecker had been seriously injured in a fall and was taken by medical helicopter to the hospital.

"They were doing a stunt and something went wrong," Coweta County Coroner Richard Hawk told the AJC. "He was flown to Atlanta Medical Center where he was pronounced brain dead July 12 at (6:30 p.m.)."

Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who plays the villain Negan on "The Walking Dead," has been among those posting messages in tribute:

Hawk didn't have further details about the circumstances that led to the accident.

TMZ reported that Bernecker was attempting a stunt that called for him to fall more than 20 feet, and missed a safety cushion, but there aren't a lot of details yet.

"John Bernecker died when a planned fall on the set of 'The Walking Dead' went horribly wrong, but there are conflicting accounts as to who, if anyone, is to blame," the report noted.

Hawk was not sure if the family elected to continue life support efforts for any reason, such as the possibility of organ donation. No official statement has been released by family members or AMC. Regardless, Bernecker's official time of death will be recorded as 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Hawk said.

Bernecker had a long and impressive list of film credits. His work included locally filmed Marvel blockbuster "Black Panther," due out next year, and "Rampage," which just wrapped. Production temporarily halted on "Rampage" when another stuntman, Dave Macomber, was injured .

Friends, loved ones and industry figures have been flooding social media accounts with words of grief and tribute. "Transformers" series executive producer Michael Bay posted this somber message:

Bernecker's girlfriend, Jennifer Cocker, posted a message of anguish while he remained hospitalized.

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About the Author

Jennifer Brett is a multiplatform journalist and digital coach. She writes The Buzz blog for accessAtlanta.com.

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