Stuntman injured on 'The Walking Dead' set declared dead

Published: Friday, July 14, 2017 @ 9:03 AM
Updated: Friday, July 14, 2017 @ 3:15 PM

Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC
(Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC)

A stuntman seriously injured on the set of AMC hit “The Walking Dead” has been declared dead.

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Richard Hawk, coroner for Coweta County, Georgia, confirmed to that John Bernecker died Wednesday.

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

“They were doing a stunt and something went wrong,” Hawk told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “He was flown to Atlanta Medical Center where he was pronounced brain dead July 12 at (6:30 p.m.).”

Hawk didn’t have further details about the circumstances that led to the accident. According to an accident report, Bernecker fell 25 feet onto concrete.

Production on the AMC action-packed zombie series has been halted following the fall.

Bernecker had a long and impressive list of film credits. His work included 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.

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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.

“John deserves to be seen by every neurosurgeon and doctor there is until one of them sees the life we all know he has in him and bring him back to us,” she wrote. “This isn’t fair.”

Other messages of support came from those who have worked with Bernecker:

The tragedy happened to coincide with the latest legal action stemming from a fatal accident on the set of “Midnight Rider.” Crew member Sarah Jones, 27, died when a train came hurtling down the track where the film crew was setting up for a scene. The production did not have permission to film on the train trestle outside Jesup.

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Director Randall Miller reached a plea deal that avoided a trial and absolved his wife and business partner, Jody Savin. In pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespassing, Miller received a sentence of two years in jail and eight on probation, in addition to a $20,000 fine.

Jones’ parents, Richard and Elizabeth, settled a lawsuit filed against numerous plaintiffs involved with the case, but CSX, which owns the tracks where the unauthorized production work was taking place, is mounting a defense.

In his testimony on Thursday, Richard Jones acknowledged that the crew was trespassing but said CSX should have taken action to prevent the fatal wreck, Deadline reported.

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Omarosa returning to reality TV after White House exit

Published: Monday, January 29, 2018 @ 11:14 AM

In this Dec. 13, 2016 file photo, Omarosa Manigault smiles at reporters as she walks through the lobby of Trump Tower in New York. Manigault Newman is following up her year in the White House with a stint on
In this Dec. 13, 2016 file photo, Omarosa Manigault smiles at reporters as she walks through the lobby of Trump Tower in New York. Manigault Newman is following up her year in the White House with a stint on "Celebrity Big Brother." CBS unveiled the cast of the reality show's upcoming season Sunday with a commercial that aired during the Grammy Awards. Besides Manigault Newman, other contestants include basketball star Metta World Peace and actresses Marissa Jaret Winokur and Keshia Knight Pulliam. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)(Seth Wenig/AP)

Omarosa Manigault Newman, “The Apprentice” star-turned-White House aide, will return to reality television next month, CBS announced Sunday.

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Manigault Newman submitted her resignation last month as director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison, effective Jan. 20. Reports indicated Manigault Newman was escorted from the White House last month after an argument with Chief of Staff John Kelly, although the U.S. Secret Service denied that authorities escorted her from White House grounds.

She previously served as President Donald Trump’s chief adviser on African-American issues in the White House.

>> Related: Omarosa Manigault Newman ‘physically dragged’ from White House, reports say

Manigault Newman will compete with 10 other celebrities to win $250,000 on “Big Brother: Celebrity Edition.” Other competitors include actress Shannon Elizabeth, Sugar Ray singer Mark McGrath and former NBA star Metta World Peace.

The show will premiere with a trio of episodes starting Feb. 7 and 8 p.m. ET/PT.

Who is Omarosa Manigault Newman

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Katie Couric shares thoughts on Matt Lauer's firing

Published: Saturday, January 13, 2018 @ 12:23 PM

What You Need to Know: Matt Lauer

Katie Couric shared her opinions about Matt Lauer's firing from the "Today" show in an exclusive People interview published Saturday.

Couric's opinion on the controversy was sought last month immediately after the bombshell sexual harassment and assault allegations against Lauer were made public, but at the time, Couric said that while the news was "incredibly upsetting," she wasn't ready to talk about it.

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Couric, 61, and Lauer hosted the "Today" show together for 15 years. 

Couric told People that the allegations have been painful for her to learn, and that she had no idea such activity was going on during her "Today" tenure. Couric said that she and Lauer had a "brother-sister" relationship and that he treated her with respect. She also addressed a 2012 clip of her on Andy Cohen's late-night show when she said Lauer pinched her on the buttocks a lot. Couric told People the comment was a joke.

Couric called the allegations made against her former co-host "disturbing, distressing and disorienting” and said such behavior is “completely unacceptable.” 

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'Game of Thrones'-themed ice hotel opens in Finland

Published: Wednesday, January 10, 2018 @ 10:49 AM

WATCH: ‘Game of Thrones’ Inspired Hotel Opens

In collaboration with HBO Nordic, a Finnish hotel chain has built the ultimate experience for fans of “Game of Thrones,” made entirely from ice and snow.

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Lapland Hotels’ SnowVillage, set about 125 miles above the Arctic Circle, opened last month with an ice restaurant, an ice bar, an ice chapel and a “Game of Thrones”-themed ice hotel. The hotel features a life-sized, ice Iron Throne guarded by an ice Gregor Clegane, a Braavosi Hall of Faces carved from snow and a dragon-shaped ice slide. Adventurous travelers can even sleep under the watchful, glowing eyes of a white walker made of snow.

>> Photos: See the real life filming locations of ‘Game of Thrones’

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Jinger Duggar, husband Jeremy Vuolo, announce they are expecting their first child

Published: Wednesday, January 03, 2018 @ 1:12 PM

Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
(Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

The Duggars are shaping up to have enough family members to fill a football team -- and there’s another one on the way.

Jinger Vuolo (née Duggar) is expecting a child with her husband, former professional soccer player Jeremy Vuolo, the couple announced Wednesday.

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“The past 14 months have been the best of our lives as we have had the wonderful privilege of beginning our journey through life together in marriage,” the Vuolos told Us Weekly. “We both looked forward to the joys of marriage but neither one of us fully understood just how amazing the start of this journey would be. Truly, the Lord’s mercies are new every morning! Now, the journey has taken an exciting turn: We are expecting our first child!”

They also shared a Bible verse (Psalm 139:13-14) to commemorate the occasion:

13 For you formed my inward parts;

you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.

14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Wonderful are your works;

my soul knows it very well.

Jinger Vuolo, 24, and Jeremy Vuolo, 30, tied the knot in November 2016. The couple has been looking forward to having children for some time, and whether or not Jinger Vuolo was pregnant was a frequent topic on their show, “Counting On.”

Best day of my life!

A post shared by Jeremy Vuolo (@jeremy_vuolo) on

“I love kids,” Jeremy Vuolo told Us Weekly in 2016. “I really share Jinger’s love for children.”

The couple’s child won’t be the only Duggar baby ushered in this year.

Joy-Anna Duggar and her husband, Austin Forsyth, are also expecting their first child later this year.

The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

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