Questions surrounding how BUCKWILD star Shain Gandee died have officially been answered.
Reality Tea received an early scoop from a source that the 21-year-old reality star passed away from carbon monoxide poisoning. Coroners and authorities refused to comment, but today it has been officially confirmed as the cause of death.
A rep for the Kanawha County Sheriff's Office confirms that Shain, his uncle and a friend, died from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. Shain's vehicle's exhaust pipe was submerged in mud causing gas to leak back into the car after they stalled out in an off-roading accident.
The bodies of all three men have been released from the coroner's office to local funeral homes.
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Shain's family was reportedly having difficultly paying for his funeral and was due to hold a "mud run" today to cover expenses. Parallel Entertainment, the production company responsible for BUCKWILD officially announced they will cover all costs associated with Shain's burial.
"Shain was a great kid with a big heart who had endless love for his mom and dad," CEO J.P. Williams tells TMZ. "I am from West Virginia and this show reminded me of how I grew up."
Filming for the second season of the show is currently postponed as MTV decides whether or not to cancel the controversy and scandal plagued reality show. Shain and his fellow cast mates were reportedly earning about $4,000 an episode for the second season. Salwa Amin, who is in and out of jail (and currently remains on house arrest over a drug bust), was not included in those negotiations and was considered released from her contract, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Whatever the case, the surprise hit was a boon to cast members and families who started collecting appearance fees and branding opportunities almost immediately. Many speculated they would experience the type of media exposure generated by Jersey Shore and would rocket to reality television fame as a result. Unfortunately, it seems they may be destined to fizzle out early.
With two arrests following the first season and one cast member's premature death, the show may be considered "tarnished" to advertisers and product companies.
In response to the tragedy, MTV is said to be in talks to reorganize the show's platform with a focus on "softening" the dangerous behavior and making the show more about the actual characters. However, the show and its characters' appeal lies in their outrageous antics and behaviors. Shain, who is described as having "died doing what he loved" according to J.P. Williams, exemplified the connection more than any other character. The network fears removing the redneck sports element could turn of viewers and essentially doom the show.
For now, everything remains unsettled. "We're taking a few weeks to give the cast a chance to get a handle on this because they are devastated," says Mr. Williams.
[Photo Credit: MTV]
TELL US – DOES BUCKWILD HAVE A FUTURE IN REALITY TV? WAS SHAIN'S DEATH AN UNFORTUNATE ACCIDENT OR IS REALITY TELEVISION PARTIALLY TO BLAME?