The announcement was shared on Friday evening via a statement on the nonprofit LifeLink Foundation’s website. The family also revealed that they will donate his organs.
“Although devastated by their loss, John’s loved ones have ensured his legacy will live on, not only through the personal and professional contributions he made during his life, but also by their generous decision to allow John to save lives as an organ donor,” the statement reads.
“John will touch countless others as the family members, friends and communities of those who receive his organs will be forever impacted by the memories and milestones made possible thanks to a second chance at life,” the statement concludes.
Production on season 8 halted when Bernecker fell more than 30 feet. He was placed on life support after suffering massive head injuries that left him brain dead, according to various media outlets.
The Coweta County Coroner’s Office in Georgia told Entertainment Weekly he was pronounced dead at Atlanta Medical Center on July 12 after succumbing to injuries from blunt force trauma.
After receiving the confirmation from Bernecker’s family, SAG-AFTRA released a new statement Friday.
“SAG-AFTRA offers its deepest condolences to the friends and family of John Bernecker, an accomplished stunt performer who passed away after a fall on the set of The Walking Dead in Georgia,” the union’s new statement reads, according to EW. “The safety of our members is paramount. We will work with the authorities and closely monitor their investigations into this tragic incident.”
Members of The Walking Dead family, including Jordan Woods-Robinson (who plays Aaron’s boyfriend Eric), Daniel Newman (Kingdom soldier Daniel), Sabrina Gennarino (Jadis’ righthand woman Tamiel) and Ann Mahoney (Olivia) sent their condolences to Bernecker’s family and friends.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has opened a fatality investigation into Bernecker’s death.
No word if the TWD cast’s scheduled appearance at Comic-Con on July 21 will still go ahead.
The Walking Dead is expected to return for season 8 in October.