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Former 'Bachelor' contestant reportedly dies in fiery plane crash

Erin Storm, a pilot who competed on Season 12 of ABC's "The Bachelor," has reportedly died in a plane crash.

Several outlets reported Monday that a female pilot was killed in a fiery crash when her Airborne XT-912 ultralight plane crashed shortly after takeoff from Hawthorne Municipal Airport around noon. Us Weekly and TMZ identified the pilot as the 41-year-old "Bachelor" contestant on Tuesday.

Police and fire officials told The Los Angeles Times and the Daily Breeze that the motorized hang glider was fully engulfed in flames when officers arrived and that the woman aboard it was in "traumatic full arrest" when she was taken to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. However, they did not identify the pilot.

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For the record, 6:40 a.m., March 23: An earlier version of the photo caption atop this post quoted officials as saying the pilot of the plane was injured in the crash. She died of her injuries.

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"As soon as the plane hit the curb, it blew up and it just kept getting bigger and bigger, but the engine was still running and eventually the engine blew and the fire got even bigger," Best Drilling and Pump Inc. employee Byron Mayes, who was working in a nearby area, told KNBC-TV Channel 4 and KTLA-TV Channel 5.

"All of a sudden, my partner started yelling, 'Watch out, there's a plane coming!' and it looked like the plane veered up, lost control and hit a couple feet away from the truck, a couple feet away from us."

Mayes said he and his fellow employees found the pilot unconscious with her legs on fire and pulled her out of the plane. Eyewitnesses told NBC that the pilot had been flying a Pacific Blue Air plane and was wearing the training facility's blue jumpsuit when she crashed.

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Storm was among the slew of women who vied for British bachelor Matt Grant's affections on the ABC dating show in 2008. She was eliminated in the third week, and Grant ultimately gave his final rose to Shayne Lamas.

Storm's occupation was listed as "hot dog vendor" at the time, according to Us Weekly.

Grant told Entertainment Tonight that he was "massively shocked" and devastated for Storm's family and friends.

"We were lucky to have Erin on Season 12. She was genuine, self-assured, beautiful and hilarious," he added. "Somehow you knew from the first minute of being with her that Erin could pretty much go and do anything."

The 2008 bachelor also said that Storm was "a smart, entrepreneurial cookie."

Reps for the ABC dating series also released a statement regarding her death.

"Once a member of the 'Bachelor' family, always a member of the 'Bachelor' family. It is a tragedy that Erin is no longer with us, and we would like to extend our sincere condolences to her family and friends."

Twitter: @NardineSaad

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Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

UPDATES

March 23, 10:07 a.m.: This article has been updated to include comments from Matt Grant and "The Bachelor."

This article was originally published at 3:11 p.m. March 22.

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