The newest cast member on the hit Bravo series ‘Southern Charm’ shared a heartbreaking story on the latest episode of the reality series about the death of his older sister.
Austen Kroll, who was introduced to viewers earlier this year in the fourth season premiere, revealed that his older sister Kyle fell to her death off the side of a cliff at the age of 9 while the family was on a hike.
He went on to explain that his parents had moved with their two children to Charlotte, North Carolina just four days prior and took advantage of their new surrounding by taking Austin and Kyle on a trip to Chimney Rock State Park.
‘It was all pretty surreal,’ said Austin.
‘I didn’t understand death at that time in my life’ I was like, “Oh, we’re going to the hospital, she scrapped her knee and we’re gonna pick her back up.”
‘And it wasn’t so, and it took me a while to realize that, and it was the worst day of my life.’
The Wilmington Morning Star reported on the tragedy back in August 1994, revealing that Kyle and her cousins had been running ahead of Austen, then 7, and the rest of the group when the young girl got outside one of the barricades that ran along the trails.
‘The moment her aunt noticed this she slipped and fell,’ Rutherford County coroner Shane Earley told the paper.
The drop was approximately 200 feet off the side of the cliff and Kyle was killed instantly from the injuries she sustained in the fall according to Earley.
Other outlets at the time also noted that the grounds had been particularly slick on the afternoon Kyle lost her life due to heavy rainfall, which had forced the park to actually close to the public one day prior.
In the wake of that personal tragedy, Austen’s parents decided that they did not want him to be an only child and had another daughter, Katie.
The fiercely close bond Austen, 29, has with his kid sister and parents was how the conversation began on Monday night’s episode of Southern Charm.
Austen was asked about his relationship with his family by Chelsea Meissner while the two were out on a date’
‘Is she the backbone of your family, or is your dad?’ Chelsea asked Austen after the two had spent the evening trampolining around at an indoor fun park.
‘Like, no discredit to my dad, but in my family it’s like, “Ask your mother,”‘ said Austen.
Chelsea then noted that it was ‘good to come from a strong woman like that’ before asking about his relationship with sister Katie, who is nine years his junior.
‘Why they’d wait so long, you ever ask them,’ asked Chelsea about the near-decade Austen’s parents waited to have what she assumed was their second child.
‘I know exactly why Katie is how young she is. I had an older sister and she passed away,’ said Austen, who immediately appeared to choke up.
‘When I was seven, she was 10 so she’d be 32,’ he explained, leading to an apologetic Chelsea tearing up as she apologized for not knowing.
‘Well how would you know? That its not something that I talk about, explained Austen, who then tried to explain how his sister lost his life.
‘When we first moved to Charlotte we went to this beautiful state park in Asheville for the weekend and so we went to this place called Chimney Rock and they take you up and … I mean, long, long story short she fell off the side,’ said Austen, who was unable to go into any further detail regarding the tragic day.
‘I cannot imagine what your parents went through,’ Chelsea told Austen.
It was at that point that the young man came closest to crying, tearing up as he explained: ‘They went through a lot, but then Katie wouldn’t be here if my older sister were here. My parents didn’t want me to be an only child so yeah, they planned for Katie.’
He then added: ‘So we are super close, my family, and our angel Kyle.’
Austen posted a photo of himself and Chelsea on Monday night saying that he hoped viewers enjoyed the episode, and then thanked his fans on twitter Tuesday.
‘Sharing my story about our angel Kyle was not easy. The outpouring of support for my family has been truly overwhelming. Thank you all,’ wrote Austen.
Chelsea was one of he first to respond to the tweet, writing: ‘Love you!’
Source: Daily Mail Image: People