Jake Pavelka had to pull his car over to the side of the road because he couldn't stop crying when he learned castmate Gia Allemand had died.
Allemand, who was taken off life support Wednesday after an apparent suicide attempt, was "an angel," he tells PEOPLE.
"I am in complete shock and devastated to hear the news about Gia," says Pavelka, who romanced Allemand, 29, on season 14 of The Bachelor. "She was one of the sweetest people I have ever known. And a very dear friend. My heart goes out to her family during this very difficult time. We have lost an angel today."
Gia Allemand, The Bachelor contestant who competed for Jake Pavelka's heart on season 14, died of an apparent suicide. She was 29.
She was found Monday night in her New Orleans home by her boyfriend, NBA player Ryan Anderson of the Pelicans, her family says in a statement.
Anderson called 911 and Allemand was transported to the hospital, where she was in critical condition on life support.
"Due to a critical loss of brain and organ function, life support was withdrawn" on Wednesday, the family statement says. "Ms. Allemand passed away peacefully with her mother, boyfriend, and other lifelong friends by her side. As a practicing Christian, Gia did receive the sacrament of last rites."
Gia Allemand, who starred on season 14 of The Bachelor, has been admitted to a New Orleans hospital in critical condition.
The 29-year-old was taken to University Hospital "following a serious emergency medical event" on Monday night, ABC says in a statement.
Allemand's mother is with her, as is her boyfriend, NBA player Ryan Anderson of the New Orleans Pelicans.
It's official – we have a brand new Bachelor!
After Desiree Hartsock's emotional season finale of The Bachelorette, host Chris Harrison announced the franchise's newest star during the After the Final Rose special Monday night.
Although some may have thought Brooks Forester (who broke Desiree's heart in Antigua) was a possibility, fellow former suitors Zak Waddell and Juan Pablo Galavis were early frontrunners for the gig. While Desiree expressed her hopes for Zak, PEOPLE.com readers cast their votes for Juan Pablo.
And, sure enough: Felicidades, Juan Pablo! The Venezuelan former soccer player and single dad will be the next star of The Bachelor!
Little by little, former Bachelor Sean Lowe and fiancée Catherine Giudici are hammering out wedding plans. But make no mistake about it – the wedding is happening.
"We've been talking about it a lot more so I imagine an announcement will be made sometime in the near future," Lowe tells PEOPLE.
Since he competed on Dancing With the Stars – he was eliminated during week eight – Lowe, 29, and Giudici, 27, have been spending time away from the spotlight, traveling more and working on wedding plans.
The official line is that the next star of The Bachelor has not been chosen yet. But after the The Bachelorette: Men Tell All special, it might be wise to start practicing your sexiest pronunciation of "Juan Pablo."
Here are five reason why the Venezuelan heartthrob could be the best bet:
The season finale of The Bachelorette is right around the corner! While fans are certainly eager to see if Desiree Hartsock gets engaged – and to whom – there's another important question on their minds: Who will be the next star of
It seems that two frontrunners have emerged from Des's pack of castoffs: ab-tastic Zak Waddell and sexy Venezuelan soccer player Juan Pablo Galavis.
Desiree said in her Bachelorette blog this week that it should be Zak. "He is so deserving of love," she admitted. "I would love to see him have the opportunity to choose from 25 suitable women to find it."
Out of the way, human!
It's not only Bachelor Sean Lowe and fiancée Catherine Giudici who were looking forward to a little "pool time" on Saturday. In a video he posted to Instagram, Lowe's chocolate Labrador Ellie made a beeline for its welcoming waters – probably to catch that falling tennis ball.
His other beloved furball, boxer Lola, meanwhile seemed content to just soak up the sun. But unfortunately for Giudici, no one looked ready to help her blow up all those beach balls. Paw shux!
He coaches singles who will search to the ends of the earth for their soulmates, but Bachelorette host Chris Harrison, 41, doesn't have to look farther than his feet for the love of his life.
The recently single father of two – son Joshua is 11 and daughter Taylor is 9 – tells PEOPLE that his 2-year-old Havanese is the perfect partner.
"Baxter is the love of our life," says Harrison, who also hosts The Bachelor. "I was never a small-dog person, but I am now."
No cameras this time around!
On Monday night, Bachelor Sean Lowe and fiancée Catherine Giudici enjoyed a quiet date night at the Ainsworth Park in New York City. The lovebirds talked quietly among themselves while sharing low-calorie dishes like chicken and salmon, and they were overheard discussing plans for a pre-wedding honeymoon.
Tuesday, the reality stars turned up at a Children's Miracle Network event at Frames Bowling Lounge in Manhattan, where they played a few games.