Shain Gandee Cousin Speaks on Tragic Death, Defends Buckwild

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In the wake of Shain Gandee's death this week, the reality star's cousin Ashley has spoken at length about her relative's life, tragic passing and even the series that made him famous.

Shain Gandee Photo

Gandee was found along with two other people in a truck covered in mud, an oddly appropriate scenario for a 21-year old who loved "mudding," described by Ashley as "country sport."

You "go in clean and come out covered in mud," she tells People. "People make mud holes. They kill up the ground and take the grass off the top. They take a water hose and soak the ground until it gets completely muddy. The more you play, the dirtier you get."

And, sometimes, the more dangerous it gets, as evidenced by how deeply buried Gandee's vehicle became and how he died from carbon monoxide poisoning as a result.

"His whole family said if he was going to die young, at least he died doing what he loved," Ashley said of how she is finding comfort.

MTV, meanwhile, has shut down production on Buckwild, as many are calling for the series to be canceled. But not Ashley.

"He was a great, well-rounded, respectable young man. He hugged everyone and shook every hand. He was just wonderful. Buckwild doesn't show anything normal teens don't do. Shain was raised in church. He didn't back-stab anyone. He was what a real man should be raised like."

A memorial will be held for Gandee on Sunday and attendees are encouraged to wear camouflage.

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Shane was my favorite on the show. He will be missed and instead of taking the show of the air he would have wanted the show to go on im sure.

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Thats so sad

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hey im from the otherside of the world New Zealand and im jst makn a special shout out to shain gandeef and family n friends all the best from ur kiwi fans u wer one of a kind and so crack up ha. never ever forgotton and always thort of ur New Zealand buddies r.i.p bro

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RIP such a sad loss, MTV please do not cancel the show it was just a tragic accident and i love the show but it wont b the same without Shaine my love goes out to all ur family and friends in the wolf holla - i loved gandy im all the way in NZ and would love to come to his memorial but i cant afford to :( if i was lucky enough to meet him id wanna marry him hes a real gentleman and he makes me laugh i love you shaine u will always be in my heart RIP up there, the good die young and u died doing what u love the most mudding (which I think sounds like fun) love you babe xo

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Welp Gandee Candy you were an amazing guy. Your memory will live on forever i pray for your family in this time of need but i know your up in heaven looking down wondering why everyone is so sad you always were the one to make the most ruckus. We will miss you and the show will never be the same without you. Fly Shain fly.

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Shain you seemed like a good guy from a great family may u rest in peace. I think u were as cute as a button too!!!! Love ya!!! Dayna