Jake Pavelka, who once wooed Gia Allemand on The Bachelor, had to pull his car over to the side of the road when he learned his former fling had died.
He said he could not stop crying when he heard the shocking news.
Allemand, who was taken off life support Wednesday after an apparent suicide attempt, was "an angel," he says, adding, "I am in complete shock."
Jake Pavelka is "devastated" at the loss of "one of the sweetest people I have ever known and a very dear friend. My heart goes out to her family."
"We have lost an angel today."
Gia Allemand died yesterday after being found two days earlier, unresponsive in her New Orleans home on Monday, by her boyfriend, NBA player Ryan Anderson.
He called 911 and Gia was transported to the hospital in critical condition. The 29-year-old model was placed on life support and eventually passed away.
Family, friends and fans are mourning the loss of the New York native.
"I'm shocked right now," former Bachelorette star Ed Swiderski says. "I was just with her last week. We were all in New York together and I just can't believe it."
"She could not have been in better spirits when I saw her seven days ago. She could not have been more of a crisp, clean person. She just defined [healthy]."
"Everyone is freaking out," he adds. "I'm getting calls from all over. We're all in shock. She was, it's hard to say 'was' because I just saw her, a beautiful soul."
"Not only was she a beautiful person, but she was super sweet."
"She was so full of life. It's just so sad."