Former South Charleston, W.V., garbage man Shain Gandee and two others were found dead in a vehicle 31 hours after the 21-year-old was reported missing, according to law enforcement.
Before leaving the service last year, Gandee, a cast member on the MTV program “Buckwild,” was a beloved public servant in the West Virginian hamlet of less than 5,000. His passion for hauling refuse was matched only by his enthusiasm for four-wheeling in the Appalachian outback.
Known as the ‘Redneck MacGyver,’ Gandee invented a multitude of outdoor sports, from tumbling inside tires to diving into a converted dump-truck swimming pool. He called to mind a forgotten Appalachian era, before the advent of cell phones and the Internet. Where his fellow millennials tweeted, Gandee “hollered.” That is to say, he communicated via slurred yelling across peaceful hollows.
Gandee was a hopeless romantic, forever looking for true love’s Natty Light-soaked kiss upon the back of his quad. As the saying goes, ‘It is better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all’—a maxim that couldn’t be truer than in the unforgiving Appalachian summer, when Gandee’s heart was trampled by West Virginia University co-ed Cara as she chased after their mutual friend Tyler.