MTV reality show star Shain Gandee, 21, was found dead inside a mud covered vehicle in Kanawha County, West Virginia. Also deceased at the scene was his uncle Dwight Gandee, 48, and family friend Donald Myers, 27. Gandee was last seen leaving a local bar where he had told friends that he was going four-wheeling. According to ABC News, it is believed that Gandee was participating in “mudding,” an off-road sport that involved driving through mud in a four-wheeler.
The vehicle, a 1984 Ford Bronco, was found to be partially submerged in the mud and rescue workers had to use ATVs to reach the site. The car’s muffler was completely below the surface of the mud. CNN reports that authorities have ruled the deaths to be accidental and have determined that the three men died from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Gandee was one of the most popular characters on MTV’s Buckwild, which followed the lives of nine young people in rural West Virginia. Gandee often displayed his love of off-roading and mudding on the show. He was also an avid hunter and enjoyed taking his ATV on local trails. MTV had recently renewed the series for a second season but production has been suspended due to Gandee’s death. The network has since then released the following statement:
We are shocked and saddened by the terrible news about Shain Gandee, and those involved in this tragic incident. We are waiting for more information but at this time, our main concern is for the Gandee family and their friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with them. Shain had a magnetic personality, with a passion for life that touched everyone he met and we will miss him dearly.