The motorsports world suffered a massive tragedy on Monday when one of its most iconic stars passed away unexpectedly.
Ken Block, a successful rally car driver who gained fame for his stunt-driving antics, reportedly died at the age of 55 following a snowmobiling accident in Utah, ESPN reported.
According to a Facebook post from the Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office in Utah, deputies and other emergency rescue personnel responded to a 911 call about a snowmobile accident around 2 pm on Jan. 2.
“The driver, Kenneth Block, 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,” the post stated.
Block had been out riding with a group of others that day, but had been alone at the time of the fatal accident.
“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. “We thank all of our first responders for their continued service.”
World-class rally car racer
ESPN reported that Block, in addition to being a world-class rally driver and action sports star, was also the founder of DC Shoes and Hoonigan Industries, the latter of which quickly confirmed that Block had died.
“It’s with our deepest regrets that we can confirm that Ken Block passed away in a snowmobile accident today,” the company said in an Instagram post. “Ken was a visionary, a pioneer and an icon. And most importantly, a father and husband. He will be incredibly missed.”
One of Block’s rally car racing teammates, Steve Arpin, told ESPN, “Ken was a legend in his ability to take a vision and make it a reality. He created an industry.”
“But if you were lucky enough to know him, that’s where the best parts of Ken surfaced. He treated his friends like gold and would create opportunities for whoever wanted to put in the work. He was everything this world needs more of, and just happened to do a lot of really cool stuff on the side,” he added.
Also weighing in with a statement on Block’s death was the American Rally Association, which said, “We are gutted to hear the news of the passing of rally icon Ken Block. He was a massive influence on everything he touched, including the global world of rallying. His stewardship within the ARA these past few years was invaluable and he will be forever missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Block family and everyone at Hoonigan.”
Famed for Gymkhana stunt-driving performances
Road and Track reported that aside from his success at rally racing, Block was also well-known for his series of “Gymkhana” videos that featured him doing seemingly impossible drifts and other wreck-defying stunts in a variety of vehicles that tested the limits of his driving abilities and the performance characteristics of the vehicles themselves, to say nothing of the countless sets of smoking tires that he absolutely shredded.
In addition to being deeply missed by his colleagues and friends and fans, Block has also left behind his beloved wife, Lucy, and their three children.