The American motorsport legend Ken Block has died in a snowmobile accident in Utah at the age of 55.
Last night, authorities and reports confirmed the pro rally racer, YouTube star and gaming icon Ken Block was pronounced dead following a snowmobile accident in Utah. He was remembered for being one of the most daring rally racers with his car-driving stunts where he regularly competed in ESPN’s X Games. The Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office received a call about an accident in the Mill Hollow area around 2 PM in local time.
“The driver, Kenneth Block, [a] 55-year-old male out of Park City, Utah, 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,”stated the sheriff’s office in an ABC News Facebook statement. The statement continued, “Mr. Block was riding with a group but was alone when the accident occurred.
The sheriff’s office, search-and-rescue, Utah State Parks and the U.S. Forest Service all responded to the scene. “We are saddened to hear of the loss of Kenneth and our hearts are with his family and friends so deeply affected,” the sheriff’s office added.
The auto media and apparel company Ken Block co-founded, Hoonigan Industries wrote on Instagram, “Ken was a visionary, a pioneer and an icon. And most importantly, a father and husband. He will be incredibly missed.” Block had been a competitive rally driver since 2005 where he was Rally America’s Rookie of the Year in his first season and then won Rallycross medals at the X Games—along with podium finishes at the World Rallycross Championship.
He also competed in motocross, skateboarding and snowboarding. But, it was when he started his YouTube channel and his Gymkhana videos that his resurgence blew up again. He had 1.92 million followers with almost 50 million regular views of his stunt-driving videos.
Ken Block was featured as the Style Icon in the live-action portions of 2015’s Need For Speed, and also made appearances as a driver in Colin McRae’s Dirt 2 and Dirt 3. Most notably, his Hoonigan team cars appeared in Forza Motorsport 7, Forza Horizon 3, 4, and 5. Many fans from his rally racing, his YouTube career and features in the EA Sports racing games expressed their condolences.
Former British Formula One world champion Jenson Button called Block “a talent that did so much for our sport”. And British former rally driver Malcolm Wilson stated that Block was an “infectious character” who helped bring the sport of rally racing to a global audience, especially through his social media videos. “What he did with cars, the stunts that he did were just truly amazing,” Wilson said.
Nascar Xfinity Series driver Ryan Vargas said watching Block’s videos “shaped my personality and interest in cars”. Ken Block is survived by his wife, Lucy, and three children.