LOS ANGELES — Winter X Games snowmobiler Caleb Moore, 25, died Thursday as a result of injuries suffered a week earlier in ESPN’s popular action sports event in Aspen, Colo.
Moore suffered internal bleeding around his heart and also a brain injury when his 450-pound vehicle failed to complete a flip off a 70-foot ramp and slammed atop his head and chest area.
The death of the four-time X Games medalist was the first in the event’s 18-year history. It brought an outpouring of condolences on Twitter from action-sports stars including Travis Pastrana, Jeremy “Twitch” Stenberg and Carey Hart.
Moore’s death also called into question the high risk of the games, and the financial support for the health of athletes who flirt with such peril.
ESPN released a statement Thursday:
“As a result of this accident, we will conduct a thorough review of this discipline and adopt any appropriate changes to future X Games. 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. Caleb was a four-time X Games medalist attempting a move he has landed several times previously.”
A spokeswoman for the network did not immediately respond to questions from the Los Angeles Times about its investment in medical coverage and insurance for X Games athletes and their families.
A website, giveforward.com/calebmoore, reported by Thursday afternoon that it had raised $32,389 for bills incurred by the accident, with a goal of $300,000.
Moore, from Krum, Texas, was raised racing and jumping all-terrain vehicles before turning to snowmobiles. His brother, Colten, was a former X Games gold medalist who injured his pelvis in a separate crash at this year’s event.
In another incident, a snowmobile crashed and accelerated toward the crowd and catch-fence, leaving one fan injured.
Caleb Moore’s family thanked medical staff and said funeral arrangements are pending.
“He will be truly missed and never forgotten,” the Moore family statement said. “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.”
The family declined to comment further.
Before announcing ESPN’s review of the accident, a network spokeswoman pointed out that Moore’s agent had called the death an accident.
“In sports, everybody makes mistakes, even if it’s rare. Caleb made a mistake. That’s it,” Moore’s longtime agent, B.C. Vaught, told the Associated Press.
Unlike boxing and mixed martial arts, action sports remain outside the review of state athletic commissions, with athletes, action-sports experts and other designers charged with designing and approving courses for daring snowmobile, motorcycle, skiing and skateboard events.