Snowmobiler Caleb Moore, at age 25, died Thursday after sustaining a traumatic brain injury in an accident a week ago while competing at the Winter X Games in Colorado.
Moore passed away at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction, Colo., where he was sent following his crash at the X Games, according to USA Today.
He won a dubious distinction: His death was the first one ever at the games, which have been running for 17 years.
Moore sustained a concussion during the snowmobile freestyle final in Aspen on Jan. 24. It was a gruesome crash, according to ESPN.com.
“Caleb Moore was attempting a backflip in the freestyle event in Aspen when the skis on his 450-pound snowmobile caught the lip of the landing area, sending him flying over the handlebars,” ESPN wrote. “Moore landed face first into the snow with his snowmobile rolling over him.”
He was unconscious after the crash, but when he came-to he answered some questions and walked away from the slope. But at some point doctors at the competition found that Moore was bleeding on his heart and he was airlifted to the hospital, where he had emergency surgery last Friday.
But in an ominous announcement, Moore’s family said Sunday that he had a “brain complication.” The athlete was listed in critical condition Wednesday.
In an interview with the New York Times, Moore estimated he’d had 10 concussions during his career, USA Today reported.
ESPN, which produces the X Games, put out a statement about Moore’s death Thursday, USA Today reported.
“We are deeply saddened by Caleb Moore’s passing and our thoughts and prayers go out to his parents, Wade and Michelle, his brother, Colten, and the entire Moore family,” ESPN said. “He will be remembered for his natural passion for life and his deep love for his family and friends, and he will always be an inspiration to everyone he touched in the action sports community.”
The sports network said that it planned to conduct a review of the snowmobiling competition and possibly make changes.
“Still, when the world’s best compete at the highest level in any sport, risks remain,” ESPN said said. “Caleb was a four-time X Games medalist attempting a move he has landed several times previously.”