Caleb Bankston, a competitor on Survivor: Blood vs. Water, died Tuesday, June 24, following a horrific railroad accident. He was 26.
TMZ reported Wednesday, June 25, that Bankston, an employee at the Alabama Warrior Railway in Birmingham, Ala., was in between cars when the train suddenly derailed and reportedly crushed him.
Bankston competed on Survivor's 2013 challenge alongside his fiance, Colton Cumbie, and landed in ninth place. The Survivor community, including fellow cast members and alums, mourned their friend as they spoke to Us Weekly.
"He was an incredible guy with a warm and inviting spirit," Survivor alum Sabrina Thompson tells Us. "The world has lost a gentle soul...gone too soon."
Thompson also discussed Cumbie's current emotional state after losing his significant other in the tragic accident. "Colton, my SURVIVOR cast mate, is forever part of my family and Caleb, his fiance, was his other half in life. While deserted in the jungle for weeks, Colton would constantly talk about Caleb to the point where I thought he was too good to be true....until I met him." She adds, "Please keep Colton in your prayers, he is completely devartated and my heart hurts for him."
Another Survivor alum, Eliza Orlins, tells Us: "I didn't know Caleb that well, but the few times I had the opportunity to meet him, I was struck by how kind and caring of a person he was. I am devastated for his family and his fiancé Colton. All my love goes out to them during this hard time."
Cumbie, whose Twitter account remains private, reacted to his fiance's death Tuesday evening. "I just wish it was me…" he wrote.