June 25, 2014 09:08 AM by Ryan Haidet
The Survivor family is mourning the death of one of their own. Caleb Bankston, who competed on Survivor: Blood Vs. Water, died in an apparent work-related incident on Tuesday, June 24.
Although few details have been released, multiple reports indicate a train that Caleb was working on derailed. His Facebook page lists his employment at the Alabama Warrior Railway in Birmingham, Ala.
Caleb, who was engaged to two-time castaway Colton Cumbie, was just 26 years old. He and Colton competed together as loved ones on the 27th season, which aired last fall. Colton voluntarily left the game after just a few days in hopes he wouldn’t hinder Caleb’s potential success. Caleb ultimately finished in 9th place and landed a spot on the jury.
Since news of his death spread, support poured in on social media from fans, friends, family and fellow castaways. Caleb’s Facebook page is filled with tributes and memories. ”Previously on Survivor,” a Facebook fan page, has been a source for viewers to share their grief.
Ciera Morett, who also competed on the show with Caleb, left this post on her Facebook page shortly after hearing the news:
I found someone on survivor who was my angel out there. And even when I came home constantly had my back, he became my big brother. I learned some important life lessons from him that will forever change me. I love you Caleb Bankston. And there is no doubt in my mind that you are with our Heavenly Father in heaven. But my thoughts and my prayers will be with Caleb’s family. I know how important Caleb’s family was to him. Please please please pray for the Bankston family. And let’s not forget that Facebook, and twitter, and reality tv are great things…. But they are NOT everything
Three-time contestant Tina Wesson shared her thoughts on Facebook:
Today lets send out our love, our prayer for peace and comfort to Caleb’s parents, and family and to Coton. It is a helpless feeling for those of us left behind, so we do what we can and hold them all in our hearts throughout the day. Know we are thinking of you and Caleb, your light was soooo bright while you here. You were a man of goodness, and honor. We will miss you so much.
I, too, had the opportunity to talk with Caleb. When I interviewed him after his elimination episode aired in December 2013, he gushed his love for Colton. “We’re gonna get married in October (2014) and we’re gonna live happily ever after.” You can read the full interview HERE.
Caleb told me he had dreams of being able to play Survivor again with Colton. “I would love to do it again. It’s kind of a two-sided thing. I would love to do it again with Colton, but actually get to play with Colton. I think we could be a really big power couple if we had both of us playing on the same team. This one, we were kind of expecting to get to play together, but on day one they split us and kind of screwed it up. But I had a blast and I would definitely do it again.”
Caleb is the third Survivor castaway to die since the show’s debut in May 2000. Jenn Lyon, of Survivor: Palau, passed away after battling cancer in 2010. B.B. Anderson, of the original season, died in October of 2013.
All of us at Reality TV Magazine send our deepest sympathies. He will truly be missed.
Please post your condolences by leaving your thoughts in the comment section below.