Vin Diesel's stunt double has been placed in an induced coma after suffering a horrific head injury on the set of Fast & Furious 9. Joe Watts, who has worked on a series of Hollywood blockbusters, including Games of Thrones, was airlifted to Royal London Hospital after he plunged 30ft onto his head at the Warner Bros Studios in Leavesden, Hertfordshire, on Monday afternoon. Joe's heartbroken fiancée, Tilly Powell, updated her friends and family on Facebook yesterday evening, writing: "I'm hoping you all understand why I can't get back to all your messages individually. I'm writing this to update everyone at once. Joe has suffered a serious head injury and is in an induced coma. He is stable and is being monitored closely throughout the night. I love him so much and my heart is shattered. He has all his family and friends by his side to get him through this!"
Joe and his fiancée Tilly
According to reports, Vin, who plays Dominic Toretto in the franchise, was "blinking back tears" after he witnessed Joe's fall. "The stuntman fell at least 30ft — maybe a bit more," a source told The Sun. "Vin Diesel was seen on set seconds after. He looked ashen, totally in shock and blinking back tears. He saw what happened." The paper reports that Joe was attached to a safety wire while filming a very high balcony scene, but when he leapt from the balcony, the cable is believed to have snapped. The insider added: "He was meant to be left dangling below the balcony via the wire and then lowered slowly to the ground, but he plunged to the ground and landed on his head."
Vin on the set of Fast & Furious 9
In a statement, Hertfordshire Police added: "Police were called shortly before noon today following an incident at Warner Bros Studios in Leavesden, Hertfordshire. It was reported that a man had been injured while working at the location and sustained serious injuries. The air ambulance attended and police officers are currently on scene to assist and carry out initial enquiries." The set is now believed to have closed down while police investigate the tragic incident.
In 2002, Harry O'Connor, who served as a stunt double for Vin in the blockbuster xXx, died on set in Prague while performing a paragliding stunt in the actor's place.
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