Entertainment » Television

Gay ’Survivor’ Contestant Dies in Railway Accident

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Wednesday Jun 25, 2014

Former "Survivor" contestant Caleb Bankston, who competed on the CBS reality show's twenty-seventh season "Survivor: Blood vs. Water," died when his train derailed on Tuesday, People magazine reports. He was 26.

Bankston worked at the Alabama Warrior Railway in Birmingham, Ala., and appeared on "Survivor" in 2013 along with his fiance Colton Cumbine. Bankston came in ninth place.

"Caleb was an amazing man and friend," fellow "Survivor" contestant Aras Baskauskas told 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."

Sabrina Thompson, who was on "Survivor: One World" with Cumbine told People Cumbine 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."

Details of the tragic incident are not clear, the U.K. newspaper the Daily Mail reports. Watco Companies L.L.C did confirm to the Associated Press that one worker died in the incident, but they did not reveal his name.

According to his Facebook, Bankston was a locomotive engineer/conductor at Alabama Warrior Railway.

The Daily Mails reports they were reportedly set to marry in October.

Cumbine's Twitter account is private but according to a user, he allegedly wrote, "I just wish it was me..." soon after news of the incident broke.

Bankston is the third "Survivor" contestant to pass away since it premiered in 2000. Jenn Lyon, who came in fourth on "Survivor: Palau" died in 2010 after losing a six-year battle with breast cancer and BB Anderson, a cast member of the first season of "Survivor," died last year of brain cancer at 77.


  • , 2014-06-25 18:05:25

    I am so sad to here of his passing. My prayers are with his partner and the rest of the family

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