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The Dangers of a Stuntman

By Paul Anthony

When you watch a movie, I am sure you enjoy scenes of action, but we all know for the most part the actors and actresses don’t do scenes that will cause harm so they have stuntmen and women do the scenes for them. Sadly, this is a dangerous job and many don’t realize that but sadly what happen last week proves how dangerous this job can be.

Last week a Walking Dead Stuntman died from his injuries when he fell thirty feet onto concrete when he was rehearsing fight scene, he was pronounced brain dead at the hospital and later in the week he was taken off life support and from there the rest is history.

John Bernecker has more than ninety stunts credited to him since 2009 and some of his stunts have come from hit movies like Logan and The Fate of the Furious and upcoming The Black Panther.

This is first death since 2000 in that field, even though its first death since then, that doesn’t change how dangerous the job really is. Many have said it is a lot safer now then it was twenty years ago nonetheless the goal should be zero deaths. The previous death came in 2000 when stuntman Brady Michaels was killed when he was doing a stunt for I Dare You, he fell and hit his head on a rock. Four years before that Paul Dallas also died from a head injury when he fell 57 feet and landed on an airbag that was supposed to catch his fall and it did not. Three years before that Sonja Davis was killed in a high fall during the film Vampire in Brooklyn. These were just a few deaths in the past thirty years. There were three deaths in a 15-year span from 1975 to 1990.

It’s a tough job no matter how safe they can make it. Head Injuries seem to be the main cause of the death in these stunts gone wrong, it’s just a sad reality. Sure, this was a first in 17 years but there always risk for something like these to happen. Equipment that they depend on can and will malfunction, they may not get a lot of recognition for the stunts they do until it’s too late. I don’t see much changing after this, I can’t blame them either because no many how safe you think it is, it only takes one mistake for a death to happen.

To the Family of John Bernecker our prayers go out to you and we are sorry for your loss.

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