"Survivor" star Caleb Bankston -- who died in a freak train derailment Tuesday -- will be buried Thursday in Alabama ... and the railroad company where he worked will foot the bill for the funeral ... TMZ has learned.
A rep for Watco Companies -- which operates the Alabama Warrior Railway where the derailment occurred -- says it's been in contact with Bankston's family ... and has promised to cover all of the burial expenses.
TMZ broke the story ... the 26-year-old train engineer was crushed between two rail cars when one of the cars unexpectedly jumped the tracks.
The cause of the derailment is still under investigation.
Caleb was engaged to marry Colton Cumbie this fall. The two appeared together last year on "Survivor: Blood vs. Water."
'Survivor' Star Caleb Bankston
Crushed Between Two Train Cars
6/25/2014 9:26 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
"Survivor" star Caleb Bankston was crushed to death by 2 rail cars when the train on which he was riding derailed ... TMZ has learned.
Bankston -- a contestant on "Survivor: Blood vs. Water" last year -- was checking on something in the small space between two of the cars when the train went off the tracks. Cops say the rear car slammed into the forward car ... with Bankston caught helplessly in between.
Since this is an industrial accident, Birmingham PD says the Federal Railroad Administration and the railway company’s safety officer will conduct separate investigations.
So far, it is unknown what caused the derailment. We're told there was one other worker on the train at the time of the crash ... he was not injured.
Dies in Train Accident
6/25/2014 3:22 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Caleb Bankston, a contestant on "Survivor: Blood vs. Water" died Tuesday in a train accident.
The 26-year-old -- who appeared on the show with his fiance last year -- worked for the Alabama Warrior Railway. He was working on one of the trains when it derailed Tuesday, killing him.
Caleb worked as a locomotive engineer/conductor.
It's unclear what caused the derailment but both OSHA and the Federal Railroad Administration have already been contacted.
Caleb was a well-liked cast member. Aras Baskauskas tweeted, "Caleb was an amazing man and friend. One of the sweetest and most sincere humans I've ever come across."
'Survivor' Villain Jonny Fairplay
I Broke My Finger
... Playing Kickball
6/13/2014 2:40 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
"Survivor" villain Jonny Fairplay got tossed in the air by an angry buff guy Thursday and broke his finger in the process -- only this time, Danny Bonaduce wasn't involved.
Jonny says he broke his ring finger this week playing in an adult kickball league ... after a large man bum rushed him at second base, knocking Fairplay high into the air.
The "Survivor" star got checked out by a doctor after the game -- they said he also tore a tendon in his middle finger -- but for now he won't need surgery, just a splint and some tape.
Free reign to give people the bird, nice.
Cop Car Selfie
After DWI Arrest
1/12/2014 12:18 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Former "Survivor" runner-up Jessica Kiper was busted for DWI Saturday in New Orleans ... so she did what any other drunk fame-monger would do -- she snapped a selfie in the cop car.
Jessica -- who finished 3rd on Season 17 (and later appeared on "Celebrity Rehab") -- allegedly plowed into the back of another vehicle parked outside of a local high school.
Cops say Jessica was clearly hammered, so she was arrested and taken to the back of a squad car ... where she managed to snap a selfie. She was later taken to jail where she was booked and eventually released.
But the next day, Jessica posted the selfie along with a rambling caption making fun of the situation ... saying, "In my 8 hours [in jail] I made my weakest cell mate my bitch."
She added, "#survivor was worse. Crossing this off my bucket list. #wakeupcall."
Jessica also predicted, "My mugshot is going to be as bad as my yearbook photos."
Here's the mug shot -- her yearbook pics must be pretty bad.
'Survivor' Champ Kimberly Spradlin
ARRESTED AT DMV
In Major Police Mix-Up
4/26/2013 5:00 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Kimberly Spradlin -- the chick who won "Survivor: One World" in 2012 -- was arrested in Texas this month and spent 8 hours in jail ... FOR A CRIME SHE DIDN'T COMMIT ... TMZ has learned.
Spradlin -- who was recently married -- was at the DMV in San Antonio on April 16 to officially change her last name ... when a staffer saw a note in the system indicating there was a warrant out for Kim's arrest.
The warrant -- issued by authorities in nearby Hale County, TX -- noted that Kim was wanted for allegedly bouncing checks all over town.
Kim was taken into custody and hauled to a nearby jail -- where she was booked and held in a cold cell for 8 long hours. She eventually forked over $1,500 to bond out.
Problem is ... Kim is NOT the check-bouncer. Turns out, there's ANOTHER person named Kimberly with the same birthday ... and there was simply a mix-up in the system.
TMZ spoke with Kim (the famous Kim) ... who tells us she spoke with officials who are working to clear up the situation ... and she wants to be reimbursed for the $1,500 bond.
It's not like Kim needs the money ... she won $1,000,000 for winning "Survivor" ... and raked in an additional $100,000 for winning the Fan Favorite Award at the reunion special.
Still, Kim is laughing about the situation -- and gave us the following words of wisdom ... "Be careful at the DMV, ya never know what's going to happen."
She added, "Bring a jacket ... it's cold in jail."
I Broke My Foot
in Ugly Carpet Accident
4/21/2012 3:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
She braved the wilderness ... but former "Survivor" contestant Semhar Tadesse was no match for the tacky carpet in her L.A. apartment ... snagging her heel and breaking her foot ... and now she's suing her landlord.
Making matters worse, sources tell TMZ the fall took place on the staircase back in August ... and we're told Semhar broke two bones in her foot.
Semhar filed a lawsuit in L.A. County Superior Court, claiming the injuries were so serious .... she couldn't work. Sources say her medical bills are already north of $20k.
Two months after the fall, Semhar was arrested for DUI -- she previously told TMZ, the only reason she bombed her field sobriety test was because of her injured foot, which prevented her from walking a straight line.
Semhar's suing for undisclosed damages. Calls to her old landlord weren't returned.
I Admit It, I DROVE DRUNK
1/10/2012 3:46 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
"Survivor" cast-off Semhar Tadesse just admitted in open court ... she was three sheets to the wind when police arrested her for DUI last October -- and now, she's ready to face the music.
TMZ broke the story ... cops pulled over 25-year-old Semhar after she ran a red light -- then arrested her on suspicion of drunk driving ... after she bombed a field sobriety test.
Semhar pled guilty today to misdemeanor DUI -- and was sentenced to 3 years probation. In addition, Semhar was ordered to attend an alcohol education program, and pay a $1,827 fine.
Don't drink and drive, kids.
Charged with DUI
11/27/2011 12:30 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Semhar Tadesse -- the first person booted from this season of "Survivor" -- has been charged with DUI ... a month after she was popped in L.A. on suspicion of drunk driving.
TMZ broke the story ... Semhar was pulled over on October 27 after allegedly running a red light. Cops administered a field sobriety test and Semhar allegedly blew a .14 ... nearly twice the legal limit in California.
Semhar was charged with two misdemeanor counts of DUI last week -- one for driving under the influence, and one for driving with blood alcohol level of .08 or higher.
Her arraignment's scheduled for December 16.
No Immunity From DUI Arrest
10/30/2011 12:20 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Semhar Tadesse -- the first person booted from this season of "Survivor" -- was arrested Thursday on suspicion of DUI, TMZ has learned.
Law enforcement sources tell us, 25-year-old Semhar ran a red light in L.A. and was pulled over. We're told officers caught a whiff of alcohol from the vehicle ... and decided to administer a field sobriety test.
According to law enforcement sources, Semhar blew a .14 -- nearly twice the legal limit in California -- and was arrested on the spot. She was released hours later on $5,000 bail.
Sources close to Semhar tell us, she was unable to walk in a straight line because of a foot injury -- but the reality star is still accepting responsibility and feels extremely disappointed in herself ... especially after losing a close friend to drunk driving in the past.
Jonny Fairplay's Ex
I WON'T Reconcile
for VH1 Reality Show
10/16/2011 4:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Former "Survivor" villain Jonny Fairplay has once again been REJECTED by his ex-wife ... who SHOT DOWN an offer to reunite on a VH1 reality show ... because she still hates his guts.
TMZ has learned ... Fairplay and his ex Michelle Deighton -- a former "Top Model" contestant -- were both asked to appear on the upcoming VH1 show "Relationship Rehab."
The show would require both Johnny and Michele to attend couple's therapy together ... while living in the same house during production. Both were offered a lucrative 5-figure deal.
Johnny agreed immediately ... but Deighton, not so much ...
Not only did she TURN DOWN the offer, but she also told producers she still HATES Johnny so much, she wouldn't live under the same roof with the guy for A MILLION DOLLARS.
Deighton and Fairplay divorced earlier this year -- Michelle claimed the relationship was simply "unhealthy."
The "Rehab" search continues ...
'Top Model' Star: Why I Left Jonny Fairplay ...
7/1/2011 2:56 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Former "America's Next Top Model" contestant Michelle Deighton tells TMZ she decided to walk out on her husband Jonny Fairplay because she feels like she's married to a child.
Deighton -- who's been married to the "Survivor" villain since 2008 -- tells TMZ ... "I work 40 hours a week at a daycare to support us, yet he would still want me to come home and cook and clean for him."
"I left because I was tired of feeling like I had two children instead of a husband and a daughter."
She adds, "I just want out of this unhealthy relationship. I have tried to work this out but he refuses to speak to me."
As TMZ first reported -- Fairplay served his wife with separation papers this week -- after she moved herself and her daughter out of the family home.
Jonny Fairplay -- DUMPED By 'Top Model' Wife
6/29/2011 4:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Jonny Fairplay -- the most hated "Survivor" villain of all time -- tells TMZ his super-hot "America's Next Top Model" star wife has walked out on their marriage ... and she took their kid with her.
Fairplay -- real name Jon Dalton -- says Michelle Deighton called it quits a couple of weeks ago ... but she didn't give him a REAL reason for the split ... only that she just doesn't want to be with him anymore.
Jonny tells us, he already filed for legal separation in North Carolina -- and plans to fight for full custody of their daughter.
It's not the first time Jonny's been tossed aside ... back in 2007, Danny Bonaduce launched him into a painful faceplant during an awards show ... and Jonny ended up in the hospital.