Ken Block, a pro rally driver who rose to internet fame with his astonishing “Gymkhana” stunt videos on YouTube, died Monday in a snowmobile accident in Utah. He was 55.
The death of Block, who lived in Park City, Utah, was confirmed in a statement released by his company, Hoonigan.
“It’s with our deepest regrets that we can confirm Ken Block passed away in a snowmobile accident today,” the company’s statement Monday said. “Ken was a visionary, a pioneer and an icon. And most importantly, a father and husband. He will be incredibly missed.”
On Jan. 2, at about 2 p.m., the Wasatch County 911 Center received a call reporting a snowmobile accident in the Mill Hollow area, according to a statement from the Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office. According to the statement, Block was riding a snowmobile on a steep slope “when the snowmobile upended, landing on top of him. He was pronounced deceased at the scene from injuries sustained in the accident.” Block was riding with a group but was alone when the accident occurred, according to the Wasatch Country Sheriff’s Office.
According to the Hoonigan website, Block’s “Gymkhana” video series has generated well over 550 million views to date. He started the stunt-driving series “as a simple way for KB to hone his rally driving skills,” per the company.
Block co-founded action sports footwear and apparel brand DC Shoes in 1994 and sold the company 10 years later, after which he started his career as a professional rally-car driver. He was crowned the Rally America rookie of the year in 2005, and finished second overall in 2006, 2008 and 2013. Block also won five medals at the X Games between 2006-13, and was the first American to drive in the World Rally Championship.
Block is survived by his wife, Lucy, and their three children.
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