Tonight at the rose ceremony Bachelor Ben Higgins, 26 revealed the sad news that 2 very close family friends from Warsaw, Indiana had just died in a plane crash. The news certainly put things in perspective especially since this was a particularly caddy pre-rose-ceremony cocktail party.
“Two people close to my family passed away in a plane crash last night,” he told the women at the start of the cocktail party. “These two people have been pillars of my community back home since I was little.”
So who were the friends of Bachelor Ben who tragically died in the plane crash?
Well I don’t know which 2 of the 4 Ben is referring to, but there were 4 men who passed away in the plane crash. The crash happened in South Carolina on October 4th, 2015 (Ben says it was “the night before” so the rose ceremony happened on the 5th.)
All four passengers, Charlie and Scott Smith, Scott Bibler, 51 and Tony Elliott, 54 from Warsaw Indiana died from blunt-force trauma related injuries.
The crew was en route from the Notre Dame-Clemson game on Friday October 2nd. As we know Warsaw is a very small town and a tight community, population 13,559.
The pilot, 77-year-old Charlie Smith, was a member of the Warsaw Common Council and was up for re-election in November running unopposed. And his son, 44-year-old attorney Scott Smith, was actively involved at the Warsaw Community Church where Ben attended.
Scott Bibler was a High School football coach and counselor. And Nicki Palmer worked next to the Scott Smith’s law firm downtown for more than 10 years. Ben was quarterback for his High School football team in Warsaw.
See the video on the crash below.
The tragedy hit the community particularly hard.
Services were held on Tuesday, October 13th and tributes were held at the Warsaw Community Church.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families who lost loved ones in this crash.
UPDATE 3/23/2016: Bachelor alumni Erin Storm dies in plane crash