Havertown native Brian Lancaster, who competed on MTV’s Road Rules in the 1990s, died of an accidental overdose in Phoenixville last month, the Chester County Coroner’s Office announced today. He was 43.
Fentanyl, heroin, and alcohol were found in the former reality TV star’s body at the time of his death in Phoenixville Hospital, according to a release. Previously, family members told TMZ they suspected heart failure as Lancaster’s cause of death, due to his history of arrhythmia.
“While some progress is being made in the battle against substance abuse, we continue to lose to many members of our community to the epidemic,” Chester County coroner Dr. Christina VandePol said. “Speaking with families like Mr. Lancaster’s, I hear so often about how difficult it is to fight addiction and how we are losing talented and loved people to this disease.”
Lancaster, a Haverford High School grad, competed on MTV’s Road Rules: Latin America in 1999 at the age of 23. Throughout the course of the season, he competed in 13 missions and appeared in 15 episodes. Filming led to exotic destinations including Mexico and Costa Rica, and Lancaster ultimately took home a Volkswagen Beetle as a prize.
In 1999, the Inquirer spoke with Lancaster about his Road Rules appearance, which came after producer Mary-Ellis Bunim found him waiting tables a Denver restaurant. He was a student at the University of Colorado at the time, and described getting on the show as “pretty much like winning the lottery.”
According to an obituary, Lancaster was a “jack of all trades” who worked variously as a special education teacher, bartender, telecommunications manager, and advertising account manager. In his free time, Lancaster was a “daredevil skateboarder and ferocious backyard gardener.”
“Brian excelled at being a human being rather than a human doing,” his obit read. “Constant in his soul and spirit, he would share possessions, thoughts, and every part of his essence with anyone who came into his orbit.”
Lancaster is survived by fiancé Sarah J. Bell, parents Carol and Dennis Lancaster, godparents Janice O’Hara and Ed Lancaster, and dog Reagan.