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'Buckwild' Star Dies: Shain Gandee Victim of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

Image: 'Buckwild' Star Dies: Shain Gandee Victim of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning? Friends and neighbors walk up and down the gravel road leading to Shain Gandeeā€™s home in Sissonville, W.Va., Monday afternoon, April 1, 2013.

By Michael Mullins   |   Tuesday, 02 Apr 2013 11:41 AM

MTV "Buckwild" star Shain Gandee was found dead Monday with two other men in a truck partly sunk in mud, and although the causes of death still haven't been determined officially there is speculation that all three died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

The 21-year-old reality TV up-and-comer was discovered in his Ford Bronco at the end of a long West Virginia dirt road, with the truck partially submerged in mud which covered its muffler. With him were his 48-year-old uncle David and a family friend, Donald Robert Myers, 27.

All three were last seen leaving a bar in Sissonville about 3 a.m. Sunday. They reportedly said they were going "mudding."

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If a muffler is submerged but the engine keeps running, the vehicle's exhaust could force its way into the cab. All authorities have said so far is that they did not suspect foul play.

On "Buckwild," which follows a group of 20-somethings around rural West Virginia, Gandee's favorite past time was "mudding" – a recreational activity in which four-wheel drive trucks are raced through the mud.

State police were getting ready to send out an aviation unit to search for the three men when authorities received a call Monday morning, according to FoxNews.com. The SUV was found by one of Gandee's friends next to a trail used by four-wheel drive vehicles, about 15 miles outside of Charleston.

The terrain was "very muddy, very rough," according to a Kanawha County official, and responders had to use all-terrain vehicles to get to the site.

No details were provided on why the occupants couldn't get out of the truck or on the condition of the bodies.

Gandee's father reportedly told "Buckwild" producer J.P. Williams that his son "died doing what he loved."

"I spoke with Shain’s father, who is devastated as you can imagine," Williams told the Hollywood Reporter late Monday. "But he said something that I thought was pretty profound, which is that his son died doing what he loved to do."

The network released an official statement Monday:

"Shain had a magnetic personality, with a passion for life that touched everyone he met and we will miss him dearly."

"We are shocked and saddened by the terrible news about Shain Gandee, and those involved in this tragic incident," the statement read. "Our thoughts and prayers are with them."

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"Buckwild" premiered in January and had recently been given the green light for a second season, but Williams said the show will be taking a hiatus for a couple of weeks.

Gandee was a breakout star of the show, which was filmed last year, mostly around Sissonville and Charleston. According to Fox News, many of the show's rowdy exploits were his idea. In one episode, he turned a dump truck into a swimming pool.

Related story:

As MTV Goes From 'Jersey Shore' to 'Buckwild' in West Virginia, Manchin Fumes

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