Ken Block, a professional rally driver and a co-founder of DC Shoes, died in a snowmobile accident near his Utah home on Monday. He was 55.
Police and Hoonigan Industries, an automotive media and apparel company that Block co-founded, confirmed the death of motorsport legend late Monday.
‘Ken was a visionary, a pioneer and an icon. And most importantly, a father and husband. He will be incredibly missed,’ Hoonigan wrote in a statement.
According to the Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office, Block ‘was riding a snowmobile on a steep slope when the snowmobile upended, landing on top of him.’ He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Block was riding with a group but was alone at the time of the accident, the sheriff’s office said. The Utah State Medical Examiner’s Office will later determine the official cause of death.
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According to the website for his team, Hoonigan Racing Division, Block’s rally career began in 2005. He was named the the Rally America Championship’s Rookie of the Year in his first season and went on to make ‘plenty of podium appearances’ on the national and world stage – including winning five X Games medals.
In addition to his renowned motorsport career, Block was a successful marketing executive. In 1984, he co-founded DC Shoes, which he sold in 2004 – not long before his famous rally racing begun.
Block was also well known for videos that brought his motorsport skills to the screen, reaching audiences worldwide – notably through the viral ‘Gymkhana’ series on YouTube, which received hundreds of millions of views.
Prominent names in motorsports are grieving Block’s passing.
Block was ‘such a talent that did so much for the sport that we love whether it was on tarmac, dirt, jumps, stunts. He was a true visionary with his own unique style and infectious smile,’ British racer and former Formula One driver Jenson Button wrote on Instagram. ‘Our sport lost one of the best today but more importantly a great man.’
‘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,’ American Rally Association wrote in a statement.
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According to the BBC and CNN, Block is survived by three children and his wife, Lucy.
Search and Rescue, the Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office, Utah State Parks and the U.S. Forest Service responded to the fatal snowmobile accident on Monday.