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'Bachelorette' contestant, adventurer Eric Hill, dies after paragliding mishap

By Alan Duke, CNN
updated 11:41 AM EDT, Fri April 25, 2014
<a href='http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/28/showbiz/tv/real-world-cast-member-ryan-knight-dies/index.html' target='_blank'>Ryan Knight</a>, who was part of the 2010 cast of MTV's "Real World New Orleans," has died, according to police in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Police say that after the 28-year-old went out with friends on Thanksgiving, he was sleeping on the floor when someone noticed he was not breathing. Ryan Knight, who was part of the 2010 cast of MTV's "Real World New Orleans," has died, according to police in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Police say that after the 28-year-old went out with friends on Thanksgiving, he was sleeping on the floor when someone noticed he was not breathing.
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Eric Hill interrupted his "Global Odyssey" to compete in "The Bachelorette"
  • Hill's parachute partially collapsed, slamming him into a hillside Sunday
  • He was on a mission to visit "every country in world record time"
  • His episodes on the ABC reality show premiere May 19

(CNN) -- Eric Hill, who was a contestant in the upcoming season of "The Bachelorette," died this week from injuries suffered in a paragliding accident.

Hill, 31, was an adventurer with a goal of setting a world record by visiting every country on Earth in 1,200 days, but he interrupted his journey this spring to participate in the ABC reality competition.

He was gliding off a steep hill in Draper, Utah, Sunday when his parachute partially collapsed and "swung him into the hillside like a pendulum," Salt Lake County Unified Fire spokesman Brian Anderton told CNN.

Although he was not far above the ground when he fell and he was wearing a helmet, Hill "hit with quite a bit of velocity," causing severe injuries, Anderton said.

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Hill was flown to University of Utah Medical Center, where he later died, according to Anderton and Facebook postings by Hill's sister Karen Tracy.

"Bachelorette" producers sent a statement to CNN saying they are "deeply saddened to hear about the tragic passing of our friend, Eric Hill."

"Eric inspired us every day with his passion, his courage and his adventurous spirit, and for that we are very thankful," the show's statement said. "On behalf of our cast, crew and producers, we send our love, our thoughts and our prayers to Eric's family during this difficult time."

The 10th season of the show premieres on May 19.

Hill's Facebook page and website proclaimed that he would visit "every country in world record time" while "sharing the awesome that exists in every country, especially with the people!"

His "Global Odyssey" page said: "But this is not your ordinary travel blog, for you see, YOU will decide what he does (and what he eats) in virtually every country. From skydiving over Australia, to eating scorpions on the Great Wall of China, we'll be posting items for you to vote on ... and he promises to do as you command!"

"Eric took very calculated risks, he was never reckless," a note posted on his Facebook page said.

CNN's Joan Yeam contributed to this report.

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