Ken Block, rally driver who once skidded around Dubai, dies aged 55

American YouTube star who filmed a stunt on Sheikh Zayed Road in 2016 died in a snowmobile accident

Ken Block died aged 55. Getty Images
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Daredevil rally driver, action sports athlete and YouTube star Ken Block, known for his high-octane stunts behind the wheel, has died aged 55 after a snowmobile accident, his team said on Monday.

“It's with our deepest regrets that we can confirm that Ken Block passed away in a snowmobile accident,” Hoonigan Racing said on Instagram. “Ken was a visionary, a pioneer and an icon. And most importantly, a father and husband. He will be incredibly missed.”

The accident happened in Wasatch County, Utah, with the Sheriff's Office reporting that Block was riding on a steep slope when the snowmobile upended and landed on top of him. “He was pronounced deceased at the scene from injuries sustained in the accident,” it said in a statement.

Block was part of a group but was alone when the accident occurred.

His wife Lucy posted a simple love heart underneath a picture of his helmet on Instagram.

Crystal Kung Minkoff, wife of The Lion King and Stuart Little director Rob Minkoff, replied in tribute: “My heart is broken. I’m so deeply sorry.”

American musician Macy Kate added: “Sending all my love. I’m so sorry Lucy.”

Block, who co-founded sportswear company DC Shoes, began his rallying career in 2005, and was named Rookie of the Year in the Rally America Championship. He competed in the World Rally Championship and won several rallycross medals at the X Games. Rallying aside, Block had competed in various skateboarding, snowboarding, and motocross events.

The American also produced the Gymkhana video series, which featured him driving, drifting and skidding on dangerous tracks and obstacle courses.

In 2016, Block took on Dubai. The nine-minute video, called Ken Block’s Gymkhana Eight: Ultimate Exotic Playground, featured high-speed turns, drifts and screeching doughnuts through the Dubai desert, Sheikh Zayed Road, The Palm Jumeirah and around Burj Khalifa in a 650bhp RX3 Fiesta.

As The National reported at the time, in the video Block took viewers on a high-octane tour of Dubai.

Additional reporting by Reuters

Updated: January 03, 2023, 9:05 AM