GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - A popular extreme sport snowmobiler has died from injuries suffered during a dramatic crash at the Winter X Games in Aspen, Colo.
A friend of the family tells 41 Action News that Caleb Moore had brain complications after surgery and was on life support long enough for doctors to harvest his organs for donation. His publicist also confirmed the death, the first in the 18-year history of the X Games.
A former all-terrain vehicle racer, Moore switched over to snowmobiles as a teenager and didn't take long to rise to the top of his sport. He won four Winter X Games medals, including a bronze last season when his younger brother, Colten, captured gold.
The 25-year-old was performing a flip last Thursday when the front of his snowmobile hit the top of a hill.
Moore went over the handlebars and landed face-first in the snow. His snowmobile rolled over him and emergency personnel rushed to his aid. He was able to walk away from the accident and was taken to the hospital with a concussion.
Moore later developed bleeding around his heart and was flown to a hospital in Grand Junction, Colo., for surgery. The family later said that Moore, of Krum, Texas, also had a complication involving his brain.
Colten Moore was injured in a separate crash that same night. He suffered a separated pelvis in the spill.
A website has been created to help Moore's family with medical bills. http://www.giveforward.com/calebmoore
Moore's family issued the following statement on his death:
"This morning Caleb Moore passed away. He will be truly missed and never forgotten.
"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.
"They would also like to thank the physicians and medical staff at both Aspen Valley Hospital and St. Mary’s Hospital, Grand Junction for their care and dedication.
"At this time, the family will not be making any other public statements. They continue to decline interviews. Thank you for continuing to respect the family’s privacy during this difficult time.
"Arrangements for a celebration of life are being made and an announcement will be made in the coming days."
X Games officials expressed their condolences and said Moore, a four-time X Games medalist, would be remembered "for his natural passion for life and his deep love for his family and friends."
They would also conduct a thorough review of snowmobiling events and adopt any appropriate changes, X Games officials said in 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," they said, noting that Moore was hurt performing a move he had done several times before.
Video of the accident, which may be hard for some to watch, can be seen below or by clicking http://youtu.be/K67LBZCMnaI
The Associated Press Contributed to this Report.
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