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Jon-Erik Hexum's Big Mistake

Jon-Erik Hexum was not a household name. In fact, his career really hadn't been going that long when he died. He had only come to Hollywood a few years before his untimely death at 26. Due to both the shortness of his on-screen career and some poor decision making on his part, he will always be remembered more for the tragic circumstances of his death than for any parts he played. While he had turned down opportunities to be in popular shows like The Dukes of Hazzard and CHiPs, he did get a regular part on the shows Voyagers! and Cover Up. If you have never heard of them you are not alone.

It was on the set of Cover Up that Hexum met his tragic end. They were filming an episode and there was a delay. Hexum was bored and began playing with the prop gun he was using in the scene. He put the gun to his head and fired. The gun was loaded with a blank. A blank can be just as dangerous as a bullet, which Hexum never had time to learn. He was taken to the hospital and after almost a week was pronounced brain dead. If there is a silver lining, it is that he was an organ donor, and in death he prolonged the lives of at least five people. (Become an organ donor if you're not already.) Unfortunately as the sad cases involving Brandon Lee and Alec Baldwin have shown, Hexum's case did not seem to lead to an increase of safety measures for guns on movie sets.

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