NYC firefighter killed in on-set blaze, ‘Deadpool 2’ stunt driver ‘s death and other dramas during filming



FDNY firefighter dies fighting blaze on the movie set

On the set, actor Ed Norton saw a fire in a Harlem building and notified the police. More than 175 firefighters responded to the five-alarm fire. A firefighter, Michael Davidson, was killed in battles with the blaze.

From cameraman to “professional daredevils,” film and television crew members willingly themselves in danger every day to create action-packed scenes — but sometimes stunts go wrong and accidents happen.

Car wrecks, falls, fiery explosions, and helicopter crashes are just some of the ways in which people have lost their lives, the produce of Hollywood magic.

Here is a list of on-set film and television dramas that rocked the entertainment industry in the past few years.

“Motherless Brooklyn”

New York City fireman Michael Davidson, 37, was killed on March 22, 2018, while battling a blaze that broke out in the basement of a Harlem building on the set of the upcoming film, “Motherless Brooklyn,” which stars Edward Norton and Bruce Willis.

The 15-year-old veteran, who had allegedly been cited for bravery four times, had “separated from the rest of the unit” during an attempt to escape the advancing fire.

“The quest followed. Members tried desperately to find a fireman Davidson, and when they did he was unconscious,” Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said.

“Deadpool 2”

A motorcycle scene turned deadly on the set of the action flick “Deadpool 2” on Aug. 14, 2017, after professional road racer Joi “SJ” Harris went into the air and crashed through glass in a Vancouver studio.

Harris was portraying Zazie Beetz, who plays the role of Domino in “Deadpool 2,” at the time of the incident. It was her first film and she was not wearing a helmet, the Deadline reported.

“Walking Dead”

On 12 July 2017, a stuntman suffered fatal injuries during a 22-foot fall in Senoia, Georgia, where “The Walking Dead” was filmed.

John Bernecker tried to grab a railing as he began to lose his foot, but he lost his grip and fell headfirst on the concrete floor.

Deputy director Matthew Goodwin told a responding officer Bernecker was intended to be a fall from a balcony over a railing on “a path made of a layer of 22-inch boxes, port-a-pit-pads, and a large path,” according to a report from the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office. He landed a few inches from the path, Goodwin said.


Two pilots were killed and another was injured after their twin-engine plane went down in the Colombian mountains on the set of Tom Cruise ‘ s “American” in 2015.

Alan Purwin and Carlos Berl were pronounced dead at the scene, while colleague Jimmy Lee Pendulum is left paralyzed from the waist down, according to People Magazine.

“The Expendables 2”

A stuntman was fatally injured during the filming of “The Expendables 2” ‒ starring Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger ‒ in October 2011, during a human-caused explosion in a rubber boat in Bulgaria, local newspaper The Sofia Echo reported.

“It is with great regret that we confirm this unfortunate accident,” production company Nu Image/Millennium Films said in a statement. “Our hearts go out to the families and those on the production affected by this tragedy.”

“Campus PD”

Cameraman Greg Jacobsen, 33, was killed during an aerial video shoot on the set of the TV show “Campus PD” on April 30, 2011.

There were four passengers aboard the helicopter, including the pilot, when it crashed near the Indiana University of Pennsylvania campus.

“We are deeply saddened by this news. Our sincere condolences to Greg’s family and friends and the Cineflix staff who worked with him,” Simon Lloyd, CEO of programming for Cineflix Productions, told Realscreen magazine.

“G. I. Joe 2: Retaliation”

Crew member Mike Huber was killed on Nov. 22, 2011 while working on the set of “G. I. Joe 2: Retaliation” in New Orleans.

“Our thoughts and deepest sympathy with the family Huber at this time,” Paramount said in a statement to the Hollywood Reporter at the time.

The man was allegedly operating a high-powered scissor lift when the machine fell over and crushed him, according to TMZ.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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