As Bachelorette Emily Maynard heads toward her big finale, where she’s set to choose between Arie Luyendyk, Jr. and Jef Holm as her next finace in a long line of fiances, we can’t help but take a moment to think about Fiance #1, the late Ricky Hendrick.
We all still remember the heart-wrenching story Emily told to the girls in the house on her season of The Bachelor, and then to Bachelor Brad Womack (Fiance #2) himself. Her tale about losing her fiance Ricky was so sad and serious that it not only brought several of her housemates to tears, it also led Madison “Fangs” Garton to leave the house….because, after Emily’s story, things “started to get real.”
Well, we did some digging and found this story about the deadly 2004 plane crash in USAToday. The plane was a Hendrick Motorsport plane, the company Ricky partly owned, along with his parents. On that fateful day, en route to a NASCAR event, it carried 10 passengers — including several other Hendrick relatives — none of whom survived the crash.
“Hendrick Motorsports identified the dead as: Ricky Hendrick, Rick Hendrick’s son and a retired NASCAR driver; John Hendrick, Rick Hendrick’s brother and president of the organization; Kimberly and Jennifer Hendrick, John Hendrick’s 22-year-old twin daughters; Joe Jackson, an executive with DuPont, sponsor of Gordon’s car; Jeff Turner, general manager of Hendrick Motorsports; Randy Dorton, the team’s chief engine builder; Scott Lathram, a pilot for NASCAR driver Tony Stewart; and pilots Dick Tracy and Liz Morrison.”
As the story Emily told goes: Just days after the crash, she discovered she was pregnant with Ricky Hendrick’s baby, who we now all know as “Little Ricki” (age 7). And, considering Emily Maynard is freaking rich (to the tune of $5 million), one can only assume she got some funds from the devastated Hendrick family to care for their grandchild.
Such a tragedy. It’s too bad that rumors are now swirling that Ricky’s parents are none too pleased about Emily’s decision to put Little Ricki in the spotlight to film The Bachelorette (which, if true, we kind of agree with — get that little girl away from the cameras for the love of God!).
We just hope that Emily’s tragic love story — including her pit stop with Brad “Don’t Poke the Bear” Womack — has a happy ending….starting with the new life she’ll hopefully be embarking on with the winner of The Bachelorette Season 8 (airing Sunday night, July 22 on ABC).
Lead Photo: Answer This…