TMZ was first to break the news, reporting that Goins suffered a possible heart attack in the gold room where he works while filming. He was reportedly found unconscious in the room by a member of the crew, and on-set medics attempted to revive him, before EMTs arrived to transport him to a hospital. His cause of death was not confirmed at the time of publication, but Deadline reports he was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Goins’ brother Larry confirmed the sad news, writing on Facebook, “Heaven will never be the same!! My brother Jesse went home to be with his Father, Lord and Savior. ￼He will be missed dearly. Love you brother.” Larry’s Facebook post was quickly filled with comments from friends and fans offering their sympathies and sharing fond memories of Goins. One user wrote, “It is sad day indeed when I think of Jess the boy with a joke and smile alway[s] excited you couldn’t help liking him and to know him was to love him so sorry he left us to soon love and hugs to all of you.”
Heavy reached out to Larry to offer their condolences and request further comment in tribute to Goins. Goins is survived by his wife.
Goins’ Brother Said He Was in ‘Such a Good Place’ Because of ‘Gold Rush’
Goins joined the cast of Gold Rush: Dave Turin’s Lost City last year, appearing in 15 episodes. Goins was a gold miner and gold room operator. He also appeared in two episodes of The Dirt, the Gold Rush after-show.
In a second Facebook post, Larry Goins shared a photo of his brother alongside his Gold Rush cast and co-workers. With the photo, he wrote, “Jesse loved his Gold Rush family. I could never find the words to express how grateful to Dave Turin and the guys for the love they showed him. And for sharing and making sure the Lord and the Gospel was a big part of his daily life. He was in such a good place because of this. Love you guys.”
While Goins did not post publicly on his Facebook page often, it was clear from the photos and messages he did choose to share that his Gold Rush castmates were very important to him. In February 2019, he made a cast photo his profile picture, writing “looks like I just added a new family can’t wait to get back to mineing” in the caption.
As news spread of Goins unexpected passing, his castmates’ reactions to his death showed the feelings of “family” were mutual. Nathan Clark shared a few photos of Goins on Twitter, reflecting, “I’m truly lost for words right now. We lost the man that I trusted with my future and my kid’s future. Jesse Goins was the kindest soul you could ever have met. Love you brother! Jesse would give up his meal for the man next to him that was not as hungry.”
Gold Rush Filming Was Paused This Year Due to COVID-19, But Resumed in June
Per Variety, Gold Rush was in the process of filming its eleventh season earlier this year, but production was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to Chilkat Valley News, production resumed filming for Gold Rush in Haines, Alaska in June, a month behind schedule. Raw TV, the production company for Gold Rush revealed in a press release that they have implemented a number of safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on-set, including daily temperature taking, use of personal protective equipment (PPE), social distancing and COVID-19 testing. The crew had to quarantine for 14 days before coming to set to begin filming. Filming was expected to run through mid-October.
While that production is underway in Alaska, TMZ reports that Jesse was filming in Colorado when he passed.