Ken Block, an American motorsports hero and YouTube star, died in a snowmobile accident in Utah at the age of 55. He was a competitive rally driver in series such as Rally America and Global Rallycross before becoming well-known for his “Gymkhana” video series on YouTube later in life.
Nearly two million subscribers watched the 10-part series in which he attempted risky racing feats. Block is also a co-founder of the skatewear clothing company DC Shoes. Hoonigan Industries, another apparel company he founded, revealed his death in an Instagram statement on Monday. Ken was a visionary, a pioneer, and an icon. and most importantly, a father and husband. “He will be incredibly missed.”
The incident occurred in Wasatch County, Utah. According to the local sheriff’s office, Block was riding on a steep slope when his snowmobile overturned and landed on top of him. “He was pronounced deceased at the scene from injuries incurred in the accident,” they said in a statement, adding that he was riding with a group but was alone at the time of the accident.
Block, who began racing in 2005, was crowned Rookie of the Year in the Rally America Championship. He won several rallycross medals at the X Games and raced in the World Rally Championship. The American also co-founded DC Shoes and created the Gymkhana film series, in which he drove on risky tracks and obstacle courses. On YouTube, the series received millions of views.
In 2016, he appeared in an episode of the BBC’s rebooted Top Gear, driving around London with actor and host Matt LeBlanc. That appearance ended in controversy when it was revealed that Block and LeBlanc performed doughnuts, wheelspins, and burnouts, leaving blackened tire streaks up and down Whitehall in the vicinity of memorials, including the Cenotaph. The BBC later apologized, and footage containing the cenotaph was never aired.
The former Top Gear presenter James May was also among those paying tribute, alongside the official Top Gear Twitter page, which described Block as an “all-round hero.” “RIP Ken Block, with thanks for some hilarious days out,” May tweeted.
What he did with cars and the stunts that he did were just truly amazing. Ken will be missed.