‘Buckwild’ star Shain Gandee has passed away at the age of 21

Sad news – Shain Gandee, star of MTV’s reality show Buckwild, has passed away. Shain was only 21 years old. In case you haven’t caught Buckwild, it’s a show about “country” people in West Virginia, and Shain was one of several young people whose huntin’, partyin’ and drinkin’ antics were catalogued on the show. What’s particularly bizarre about this story is that no information has been released about the cause of death.

A search for Buckwild star Shain Gandee and two others ended with the trio found dead in his car in West Virginia, authorities say.

“We are shocked and saddened by the terrible news about Shain Gandee, and those involved in this tragic incident,” an MTV rep said in a statement. “We are waiting for more information, but at this time, our main concern is for the Gandee family and their friends.”

Continues the statement, “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.”

The reality personality, 21, was discovered unresponsive in his car Monday morning with his uncle, David Gandee, 48, and another person, says Kanawha County Commissioner Kent Carper of West Virginia, where Gandee lived.

Kanawha County Commissioner Kent Carper tells PEOPLE that the family notified authorities on Sunday that they were missing since Saturday. A very intense search was done, concluding Monday morning, he adds, revealing MTV had been filming all weekend with Shain.

They had told people they were going four-wheeling in an SUV and were last seen at Larry’s Bar in Sissonville, W.Va., WCHS TV reports.

According to his bio on the stunt program’s website, Shain, nicknamed “Gandee Candy,” was “sociable and loyal.” He was his high school’s prom king, and had done every job from coal mining to being a garbage man.

Says the bio, “He loves mudding, hunting and four-wheeling, but most of all he loves his parents, who live three doors down.”

[From People]

This is really sad. If Shain and his uncle (and this mysterious third person) were drinking before they went four-wheelin’, I feel like the cause of death might be alcohol related? TMZ’s sources think that the deaths might be related to carbon monoxide poisoning. Yikes.

Incidentally, I caught a few episodes of Buckwild, and I actually wondered what the fuss was about – I grew up in Virginia (and I still live in Virginia), and there are plenty of people just like that all over. None of the Buckwild stars were geniuses or anything, but they weren’t vicious or nasty people (although they have had their fair share of drug and alcohol problems), they were just… “country”. People often treat the word “redneck” like a universal pejorative, but many people in the South own their “redneck” status with pride, and that’s what I was reminded of when I watched the show. At the end of the day, this Shain kid just liked to party, he loved to hunt, he loved his parents, he had a wide group of friends and he had worked some hard jobs. It’s really sad.

Oh, and MTV has suspended production of Buckwild. The mayor of Charleston, WV wants the show canceled.

Photos courtesy of Google.

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24 Responses to “‘Buckwild’ star Shain Gandee has passed away at the age of 21”

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  1. marie says:

    as someone suggested earlier (not sure where I heard it) but it’s probably carbon monoxide poisoning.

    • L says:

      That’s what was on CNN this morning. The truck was in a mud pit up past the window on the passenger side, and with the tail pipe being totally under the mud the truck filled with carbon monoxide.

  2. Launicaangelina says:

    I wonder if the mysterious third person works for MTV?

  3. elceibeno08 says:

    What sad news! He was so young and cute –in a redneckish way. I mean, if Hollywood would have remade the movie Deliverance, Shain could have been in it, playing one of the good backwoods person. That young man had perfect dewey skin.

  4. MisJes says:

    This is so horribly sad. It’s events like these that remind you just how fragile life is. I’m around the same age as Shain was, and I can’t imagine how awful it would be to have life snatched from me just like that. Thoughts and prayers to his friends and family, and to those of the other two people.

  5. janie says:

    What a terrible tragedy.. My condolences to his family and friends.

  6. sarah says:

    I don’t think cancelling the show is going to do any good. Doesn’t seem like the show had anything to do with the death. This is sad.

  7. Sarcasmo says:

    So young, and 3 dead! I agree with the above comment, that it sounds carbon-monoxide related. (Remember that little boy who died in the car while his dad shoveled snow after that major storm in the Northeast?)

    Condolences to all of their families and friends.

  8. Yelly says:

    This is sad. But I feel like this show is cursed. These guys make Jersey Shore look like an episode of Full House.

  9. Meredith says:

    If they left the bar at 3 am to go four wheeling, they were probably impaired and too “silly drink” to realize that the exhaust pipe was submerged and carbon monoxide was coming into the cab. Very tragic. We have all done stupid drunk stuff at age 21 – too bad his caused his death.

  10. yeahright says:

    This poor kid. I watched the show and he was really just a big sweetie redneck. Out of all of them he seemed like nothing would make him happier than to land a pretty girl and have some babies with her and live in his “holler” with them all. Such a cute kid. I’m bummed.

    • MisJes says:

      I know, in one of the episodes (I think it may have been the first) he picked some meadow flowers for the girl he was with and handed it to her dirt clod, roots and all. It was adorable. It is so unbelievably tragic and upsetting that the life of a decent, good young man has been cut short.

  11. hayley says:

    sad. he just seemed like a happy, fun loving guy and he was nice to everyone. it’s really just sad.

  12. irishserra says:

    This is sad. I read the report yesterday but honestly thought it was an April Fool’s hoax. Very saddened to realize it was not.

  13. skuddles says:

    I’ve seen a fair bit of info about the cause of death; all three appear to have died from carbon monoxide poisoning. Apparently the truck they were in became stuck in deep mud – they left the engine running (likely to stay warm) not realizing the muffler was obstructed by mud, and carbon monoxide filled the cab. Such a sad, unnecessary tragedy. RIP guys.

  14. TheOneAndOnly says:

    Sad, Many of the younger generation is unaware there was a time in the 80s/90s when MTV was actually fun and good, It now has no reason for being and is mostly a corporate exploitative cash cow for Viacom.It was never counterculture but at least until the mid 90s it was fun and featured music.

  15. KellyinSeattle says:

    Wow; I always think it’s sad when people die at such a young age. My best friend lost her son, too, and there’s part of her that will never recover. Too traumatic .

  16. Christin says:

    Very sad. He sounded like a decent young man.

  17. Deeana says:

    Wow, three adults in a vehicle stuck deep in a mud pit and none of them realized the exhaust pipe was submurged?

    Yep, I’d say this was an alcohol-related death.

    Sad, sad, sad.

  18. Lori says:

    Shain was the best part of Buckwild. I’m ashamed to admit that I am 43 and watched the show. (I watch Real World too, what can I say?) Shain was good hearted, fun loving, pretty well mannered, hard working and a gentleman, it seemed, to the opposite sex. The love between he and his family was apparent. What an absolute shame that they have lost him.

  19. kibbles says:

    MTV is horrible. I read that his family is trying to raise funds for his funeral. Why isn’t MTV stepping up to the plate and donating money to help his family? They used him while he was alive yet they aren’t even going to help give this boy a proper funeral? Sad and disgusting.

  20. Dani says:

    So sad. From the few episodes I watched, he seemed like the nicest, most genuine guy on the show. Prayers for the families.

  21. Emily says:

    I didn’t get the hate for Buckwild either. If you live in the middle of nowhere, WV, you should be four-wheeling, mudding, getting drunk with your friends (pretty sure most of them were 21+ or at least college age), and doing wild stuff outside. All of those are perks of living in WV!

    Really sad about Shain…he seemed like a nice guy and I’m sure his family is devastated.

  22. Dave says:

    This show is just just another example of how the elitist liberals mock good people who don’t live on one of the two coasts, not realizing that these people are actually the “normal” people and that they’re the ones who are f-ed up.

    That felt good. Let the flaming begin.