"Bachelorette" contestant Eric Hill dies after paragliding accident

Eric Hill
GO with Eric, The Global Odyssey/Facebook

Last Updated Apr 23, 2014 4:44 PM EDT

Eric Hill, a contestant on the upcoming season of "The Bachelorette," died Wednesday after being severely injured in a paragliding accident over the weekend in Utah. He was 31.

"Eric shared his final journey with us this morning as all his immediate family were able to be at his side when he passed away," his sister, Karen Tracy, announced on Facebook.

"He gave us such a gift of a life fully lived and fully shared, and allowed us all to be a part of his last adventure here on earth," she wrote. "It is hard to think of life without his bright spark, but we know he is on to new adventures. We look forward to carrying on his legacy here and greeting him joyfully again someday."

Producers of the dating series released a statement Wednesday that said: "We 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. 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."

Chris Harrison, host of "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette," also took to Twitter to comment on the news:

Hill was hospitalized in critical condition after his parachute collapsed while paragliding in Utah on Sunday, Us Weekly reports.

ABC has not yet announced the names of the suitors competing for Andi Dorfman's heart on "The Bachelorette," which returns to the network on May 19. "Bachelor"/"Bachelorette" blogger Reality Steve noted Hill had already been eliminated from the show when the accident happened and it did not occur during filming.

Prior to joining the "The Bachelorette," Hill had been on a quest to visit all 195 United Nation-recognized countries in 1,200 days, dubbed "The Global Odyssey," and had been documenting the journey on his website.