Twenty-five-year old American snowmobiler Caleb Moore suffered heart and brain injuries in a tragic crash last week during the Winter X Games in Aspen, Colo., and died from his injuries on Thursday. The tragedy rocked the X Games, and prompted widespread sympathy for Moore, who was a star in the sport.
Moore attempted a backflip, but the front skis on his snowmobile didn’t completely turnover, causing him to fall and hit his head against the snow ramp. Moore’s 450-pound vehicle then fell on top of him, and he slid down the ramp.
Moore remained on the ground for several minutes, before leaving under his own power. He was later taken to St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction for a concussion, and ultimately stayed there in intensive condition until his death.
The Texas native leaves behind a litany of accomplishments and a much-bereaved family.
"He will be truly missed and never forgotten," the Moore family said in a statement. "The family wishes to express their deep gratitude for all the prayers and support they have received from all the fans, friends and family around the world that Caleb has inspired."
According to numerous reports, Moore had taken to snowmobiling only four years ago, along with his younger brother Colten. Caleb was an experienced all-terrain vehicle rider, and quickly translated those skills to the snow.
Caleb won four medals at the X-Games, capturing a bronze in the 2012 freestyle event. Colten would take the gold in the same event.
As his profession of choice indicated, Caleb Moore was known as a free and creative individual, always pushing his limits and that of his vehicles.
After learning of Caleb’s death, ESPN, which owns the X Ganes, released a statement.
"For 18 years, we have worked closely on safety issues with athletes, course designers and other experts. Still, when the world's best compete at the highest level in any sport, risks remain," the statement read. "Still, when the world's best compete at the highest level in any sport, risks remain."
It was the first death from injuries sustained during the 18-year history of the X Games.
"We've all accepted the risk, and we know what playing the game means," snowmobile competitor Paul Thacker said, according to the Denver Post.