Ken Block, a motorsports icon known for his stunt driving and for co-founding the action sports apparel brand DC Shoes, died on Monday in a snowmobiling accident near his home in Utah.
Block, 55, “was riding a snowmobile on a steep slope when the snowmobile upended, landing on top of him,” the Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. The incident occurred in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest and he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Block, who grew up in Southern California, was a co-founder of DC Shoes, a manufacturer of skateboarding and snowboarding shoes and apparel that in 2004 was purchased by Quicksilver for $84 million.
Afterward, he rose to fame as a rally car driver and in 2005 was awarded Rally America’s Rookie of the Year honors. He won multiple medals at the X Games and also competed in other action sports, including motocross, snowboarding and skateboarding.
Block’s most lasting imprint on action sports may perhaps be his marketing prowess: his YouTube stunt-driving videos showing him navigating difficult terrain and man-made obstacles have garnered more than 1 billion views. “He created an industry,” Steve Arpin, Block’s Hoonigan Racing teammate told ESPN.
Hoonigan, the Park City-based team that Block founded, called Block “a visionary, a pioneer and an icon.” “He will be incredibly missed,” the organization said in a statement.