Part of the excitement of watching movies and television shows is seeing the death-defying stunts performed with absolute precision. While these types of maneuvers in film and TV are nothing new, the way they’re performed certainly has changed and the advancement in safety equipment has seemingly made the profession much safer than in years past — right?
Unfortunately, there have been tragic exceptions. Here are five recent stunts that ended in tragedy.
A stuntwoman is killed on the set of “Deadpool 2”
In 2017, a stuntwoman was killed when the motorcycle she was riding went airborne in Vancouver, British Columbia. Witnesses told TMZ at the time that her bike crashed through the glass of a ground-floor studio inside Shaw Tower, though she never applied the brakes. Film series star Ryan Reynolds shared his condolences via Twitter.
“MacGyver” stunt coordinator is placed in medically induced coma following injury on set
August 2018 nearly spelled doom for one action junkie who was placed into a medically induced coma after he sustained a “serious head injury” while filming the CBS show “MacGyver.”
CBS Television Studios told Fox News in a statement at the time: “We have learned about an injury to stunt coordinator Justin Sundquist that occurred late Monday on the set of ‘MacGyver’ in Atlanta. The production team is cooperating with the authorities investigating the accident, and our primary concern at this time is Justin’s health and well-being.”
According to Deadline, the award-winning stunt coordinator “was injured during a stunt that involved transferring from one vehicle to another.”
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has since opened an investigation into the accident.
A stuntman dies after fall on the set of “The Walking Dead”
In July 2017, John Bernecker fell more than 30 feet onto a concrete surface resulting in deadly blunt force trauma. According to Deadline, the experienced stuntman was rehearsing a fight scene that was to end with a routine fall from a balcony. However, Bernecker lost his footing and plummeted to the ground. Bernecker was Medevacked to Atlanta Medical Center, a level 1 trauma center, before his death. The Coweta County Coroner’s Office told Fox News at the time that Bernecker “succumbed to his injuries from the fall.”
Canadian rapper dies after falling from airplane
Rapper Jon James McMurray died in October 2018 while attempting to perform a stunt on the wing of an airplane for a music video. His management team told CBC News McMurray, 33, had trained for months to perform the stunt, in which he attempted to walk onto the wing of a Cessna aircraft while it was flying — however, he “walked too far out on the wing and sent the aircraft into a downward spiral.”
“Jon held onto the wing until it was too late, and by the time he let go, he didn’t have time to pull his chute. He impacted and died instantly,” McMurray’s management team said in a statement.
Woman kills boyfriend in failed YouTube stunt
In March 2018, Monalisa Perez, 20, was sentenced to 180 days in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree manslaughter for killing her 22-year-old boyfriend Pedro Ruiz III in a YouTube stunt gone wrong, the Star Tribune reported.
For the stunt, Perez, who was pregnant with their second child at the time, fired a shot from a .50-caliber Desert Eagle pistol at Ruiz from a foot away. They both believed a hardcover encyclopedia he held against his chest would shield him.
Hours before the shooting, Perez spelled out her concern on Twitter.
“Me and Pedro are probably going to shoot one of the most dangerous videos ever. HIS idea not MINE,” she wrote.