“Bachelorette” star Andi Dorfman has finally broke her silence on the death of Eric Hill, a contestant on her upcoming season. The 26-year-old, whose journey to find love will begin on ABC on May 19, opened up about the tragic loss during a call with reporters on Wednesday.

“Obviously it had a huge effect on all of us,”Dorfman explained of Hill’s April passing. “He became a part of our family … It’s been hard and it was hard on everybody.”

The Atlanta assistant district attorney went on to explain that it’s “something you never could have predicted or expected.”

“He was a member of our cast and we had an inherent bond,” Dorfman continued. “The [other contestants] shared that bond, too. It was shocking and devastating to all of us, and it’s still a tough thing that we’re going through.”

Eric Hill, 31, passed away on April 23 after a paragliding accident that left him in a medically induced coma. The contestant had finished filming and was in Utah with friends at the time.

Besides an extreme-sport enthusiast, Hill was also a world traveler (his bio for the ABC show listed his occupation as “explorer”). In February 2013 Hill launched “The Global Odyssey,” a website that documented his journey to break the world travel record of visiting every country in less than three years, three months and six days.

“He really did live life to the fullest,” Andi Dorfman added, telling reporters that their number one priority is to respect and honor Hill.

ABC and “The Bachelorette” will honor Eric Hill’s memory by dedicating Season 10 of the reality dating show to him. Host Chris Harrison will speak to Eric Hill’s “passionate and courageous spirit in becoming part of ‘The Bachelor’ family.”

“The Bachelorette” with Andi Dorfman will premiere on ABC on May 19 at 9:30 p.m. EDT. The show will then move to its regular time of 8 p.m.