Credit: Splash News

Before Emily Maynard was engaged to Jef Holm, and before she was engaged to Brad Womack, the gorgeous Virginia-based Bachelorette was engaged to late NASCAR racer Ricky Hendrick. Ricky tragically died in a plane accident (along with nine other NASCAR team members) on October 24, 2004. Just several days later, Emily found out she was pregnant with daughter Ricki, who was born on June 29, 2005.

Emily and Ricky were engaged for just six months before he died, but they’d met many years earlier. According to Emily’s grandma, speaking with The Logan Banner, Emily met Ricky when she was just 14 years old. “I remember when she first met Ricky, she wrote me a letter, she said, ‘Grandma, I really love him.’” Just 19 when Ricky died, Emily honors Ricky every year on his birthday and on the anniversary of his death.

This year, on October 24, 2012, Emily tweeted, “Perhaps they are not stars in the sky, but rather openings where our loved ones shine down to let us know they are happy,” along with a photo collage in remembrance of her first love.

Source: The Logan Banner