Rally driver and YouTube star Ken Block dies in snowmobile accident at 55

(CNN) — Professional rally driver and YouTube star Ken Block was killed in a snowmobile accident Monday, his team Hoonigan Racing announced. He was 55 years old.

“Ken was a visionary, a trailblazer and an icon. And most importantly, a father and husband,” Hoonigan Racing said in a statement. “He will be incredibly missed. Please respect the family’s privacy at this time while they grieve.”

The accident occurred at 2 p.m. as Block was riding a snowmobile down a steep slope in Wasatch County, Utah, according to the Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office.

The snowmobile flipped over and landed on top of Block, the Sheriff’s Office said. He was later pronounced dead at the scene from injuries sustained in the accident.

“Mr. Block was traveling with a group but was alone when the accident occurred,” a statement from the Sheriff’s Office added.

“The State Medical Examiner’s Office will determine the official cause of death. We are saddened by the loss of Kenneth and our hearts go out to his deeply affected family and friends.

“We thank all of our first responders for their service,” he concluded.

Before embarking on his career as a rally driver, Block co-founded the sportswear company DC Shoes in 1994, which became one of the most recognized skatewear brands in the world.

He began racing in 2005 and two years later made his debut on the FIA ​​World Rally Championship (WRC) circuit in Mexico. He participated in 25 WRC events and won five X Games medals in RallyCross between 2006 and 2015.

Ken Block and Alex Gelsomino competing in the WRC Rally Mexico in 2012.

Ken Block and Alex Gelsomino competing in the WRC Rally Mexico in 2012.

“Shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of a true icon of our sport,” Belgian rally driver Thierry Neuville said. “A passionate runner and a true trailblazer who inspired so many of us. He rest in peace friend. All my condolences are with family and friends.”

Block also gained fame for the YouTube series Gymkhana in which he performed stunts and drifts in different locations across the United States and around the world. The videos were very popular, they had hundreds of millions of views.

“In shock over the passing of Ken Block. A talent who did so much for our sport,” former Formula One driver Jenson Button wrote on Twitter.

“He was a true visionary with his own unique style and an infectious smile. Our sport lost one of the best today, but more importantly, a great man.”

Block is survived by his wife, Lucy, and three children.

CNN’s Chris Boyette and Taylor Romine contributed reporting.

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