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Pro rally driver and YouTube sensation Ken Block dies in snowmobile accident

Block, 55, died Monday after a snowmobile he was riding upended and landed on top of him, the Wasatch County, Utah, Sheriff’s Office said.
Ken Block during the World RX of Portugal 2017, at Montalegre International Circuit in Portugal
Ken Block during the World RX of Portugal at Montalegre International Circuit on April 22, 2017.Paulo Oliveira / NurPhoto via Getty Images file

Ken Block, a professional rally driver and YouTube star, died Monday in a snowmobile accident in Utah, officials said. 

He was 55.

Block was riding a snowmobile on a steep slope in the Mill Hollow area of Wasatch County on Monday afternoon when “the snowmobile upended, landing on top of him,” the Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office said. 

Block was pronounced dead at the scene. 

He was riding with a group, but the sheriff’s office said Block was alone when the accident occurred. 

“We are saddened to hear of the loss of Kenneth and our hearts are with his family and friends so deeply affected,” it said. 

He leaves behind his wife, Lucy, and three children.

Earlier Monday, Block posted photos on his Instagram stories of himself driving in heavy snow. 

Block’s team, the Hoonigan Racing Division, confirmed his death on social media

“Ken was a visionary, a pioneer and an icon. And most importantly, a father and husband. He will be incredibly missed,” the statement said. 

Last week, Block posted Christmas greetings to his 7.9 million Instagram followers and shared photos of his family’s vacation at the Baldface Lodge in Canada. 

He kicked off his professional rally racing career in 2005 and was named Rookie of the Year that season in the Rally America Championship, according to a biography on his racing team's website. Block also competed in the FIA World Rallycross Championship and won several medals in the X Games. 

In addition to his sporting accolades, he was a YouTube sensation famous for Gymkhana videos in which he performed driving stunts. His YouTube channel has nearly 2 million subscribers.

The wild success of the viral videos led to the 2018 Amazon Prime series “The Gymkhana Files,” which followed Block and the Hoonigan Racing Division in their video-making and racing process. 

Block was also one of the co-founders of the sportswear company DC Shoes. 

The X Games paid tribute to Block on Monday, writing: “One of the most important figures in sports over the last four decades, Ken influenced a generation. His creativity, innovation and business savvy literally changed how people view action sports.”

“More importantly, Ken was a father, husband and loyal friend. Our thoughts are with all those who knew him. He will be missed, but his wide-ranging legacy lives on,” the statement said. 

The FIA World Rallycross Championship said Block’s passing “leaves a huge hole on our sport.”

“But his legacy as a visionary and inspiration to millions all around the world will live long," the tribute said.