How Did Bachelorette 2014 Contestant Eric Hill Die?
Credit: Rick Rowell/ABC Television Group    

The Bachelorette

How Did Bachelorette 2014 Contestant Eric Hill Die?

Until tonight’s Bachelorette Hometown Dates episode, we had no idea how ABC would handle the death of Eric Hill, considering it happened while they were in the middle of the family visits. On the July 7 episode, Chris Harrison sat down Season 10 Bachelorette Andi Dorfman, and her four remaining guys to reveal the tragic news. But if you weren’t yet paying attention to this season of the ABC show back in April, when Eric, passed, you might be confused about what happened.

Eric, 31, was an adventure traveler from Citrus Heights, California, though he was living in Salt Lake City at the time of his death. On Sunday, April 20, he was paragliding with some friends in Draper, Utah near Point of the Mountain. Eric was a well-versed paraglider, and had done all sorts of risky things while filming The Global Odyssey, about his goal to travel to all U.N.-recognized countries. He wasn’t filming at the time, but his sister, Karen Tracy, took to Facebook to announce the news of the accident.

Karen asked for prayers while her brother was in a coma, in critical condition at a hospital nearby the accident site. The UFA Battalion Chief told KUTV at the time that Eric’s canopy collapsed about 15 to 20 feet from the mountainside, and that the velocity of the fall caused the trauma. He was found unconscious but breathing.

The following day, Karen announced that Eric had passed away. She wrote, "Eric shared his final journey with us this morning as all his immediate family were able to be at his side when he passed away. Thank you to all of your love and support and prayers and fasting. It was amazing to be with so many of his friends and family yesterday in the hospital who came to express their love for Eric. He gave us such a gift of a life fully lived and fully shared, and allowed us all to be a part of his last adventure here on earth. It is hard to think of life without his bright spark, but we know he is on the new adventures. We look forward to carrying on his legacy here and greeting him joyfully again someday. I love you so much, little brother!"

At the time of Eric’s exit, on Episode 4, Andi and Eric had a heated argument in which Eric called Andi a “television actress” and she told him where the door was. ABC dedicated the season to Eric’s memory, though they received a lot of criticism for sensationalizing his departure. Wherever you stand on the matter, the emotional scene in which Chris Harrison sat down the final four guys and Andi at his house to tell them about his passing made us straight up sob.

The guys were all overcome with emotion, and Andi and Marcus went outside to shed some tears before they joined the camera crew and producers to mourn. Andi cried into a producer’s arms, sobbing with regret about her last conversation with Eric. This loss is unprecedented on the long-running show, since no other contestant has ever passed during the course of filming. Our thoughts and prayers are with Eric Hill’s family and friends.

What do you think about how ABC handled Eric Hill’s death? Hit the comments and weigh in below.