Survivor Contestant Caleb Bankston Dies in Railway Accident
The Blood vs. Water contestant died in Birmingham, Alabama, on Tuesday when a train he was on got derailed
Caleb Bankston, who competed on Survivor: Blood vs. Water, died when the train he was on derailed on Tuesday, PEOPLE has confirmed through multiple sources.
Bankston, 26, worked at the Alabama Warrior Railway in Birmingham. He competed on Survivor: Blood vs. Water in 2013 alongside his fiancé, Colton Cumbie, ending the game in ninth place.
News of the accident has sent shockwaves through the Survivor community.
“Caleb was an amazing man and friend,” fellow contestant Aras Baskauskas tells PEOPLE. “One of the sweetest and most sincere humans I’ve ever come across. I am gutted by his loss. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.”
Adds Sabrina Thompson, who competed on Survivor: One World with Cumbie: “While playing Survivor with Colton, he would talk about his boyfriend, Caleb, around the clock 24/7. Within seconds of meeting Caleb at the finale and Survivor events, it’s no wonder why he raved about him. You were instantly drawn to his big smile, warm spirit and Southern charm. May God rest his soul gone too soon.”
Bankston is the third Survivor contestant to pass away since the show premiered. In 2010, Jenn Lyon, who placed fourth on Survivor: Palau, died after a six-year battle with breast cancer.
Last year, original Survivor contestant BB Andersen died of brain cancer at age 77.