Top Gear star Ken Block dies aged 55 in tragic snowmobile accident

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Top Gear star Ken Block dies aged 55 in tragic snowmobile accident
Top Gear star Ken Block dies aged 55 in tragic snowmobile accident

Former Top Gear star Ken Block has died at the age of 55 after a snowmobile accident.

Block's devastated team, Honnigan Racing Division, shared the news of his death saying 'he will be incredibly missed'.

"It's with our deepest regrets that we can confirm that Ken Block passed away in a snowmobile accident today," read a statement posted to Instagram.

"Ken was a visionary, a pioneer and an icon. And, most importantly, a father and husband. He will be incredibly missed.

"Please respect the family's privacy at this time while they grieve."

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The Wasatch County Sheriff's Office, which attended the scene of the crash, also released a statement a short time later.

The Sheriff's Office said that Ken was riding on a steep slope when the snowmobile flipped over and landed on top of him.

Top Gear star Ken Block dies aged 55 in tragic snowmobile accidentKen Block has died at the age of 55 (Getty Images)

"On January 2, 2023 at approximately 2pm, the Wasatch County 911 Centre received a call reporting a snowmobile accident in the Mill Hollow area," it read.

"Search and Rescue, along with law enforcement from Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office, Utah State Parks and the US Forest Service responded.

"The driver, Kenneth Block, 55-year-old male out of Park City, Utah, was riding a snowmobile on a steep slope when the snowmobile upended, landing on top of him.

"He was pronounced deceased at the scene from injuries sustained in the accident.

Top Gear star Ken Block dies aged 55 in tragic snowmobile accidentTop Gear star Ken Block dead at 55 after snowmobile accident (Instagram)
Top Gear star Ken Block dies aged 55 in tragic snowmobile accidentBlock leaves behind three children (Getty Images for IMDb)

"Mr Block was riding with a group but was alone when the accident occurred. The State Medical Examiner’s Office will determine the official cause of death.

"We are saddened to hear of the loss of Kenneth and our hearts are with his family and friends so deeply affected. We thank all of our first responders for their continued service."

Block is survived by his wife Lucy and three children.

The late action sports star began rallying in his native USA in 2005, initially in the Rally America series.

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Top Gear star Ken Block dies aged 55 in tragic snowmobile accidentThe late action sports star began rallying in his native USA in 2005 (NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Within two years he was making cameos in the World Rally Championship, until he signed a deal with Ford to drive for what was initially known as the Monster World Rally Team.

His association with Ford led to Block competing in the Global Rallycross Championship with the team, which was rebranded as Hoonigan Racing Division in 2012.

Block finished second in the Global Rallycross Championship in 2015 before moving to the FIA World Rallycross Championship the following year.

More recently he has continued to compete in US rallying, narrowly missing out on the 2022 title to Brandon Semenuk.

Top Gear star Ken Block dies aged 55 in tragic snowmobile accidentTop Gear of host Matt LeBlanc in a Ford Mustang in London with rally driver Ken Block (PA)

Tributes have begun to pour in. Takamoto Katsuta, a driver for Red Bull penned: "I can’t believe today’s news. Big respect what you have done for the Motorsports around world. Rest In Peace Ken."

Rally car driver Karen Salvaggio also tweeted: "Can’t believe you are gone. In a blink of an eye. A legend, a father and husband. Will miss you so much".

Meanwhile, photographer Auditya Venkatesh added: "What a loss. Thank you for bringing a sense of speed and excitement to a whole generation #KenBlock."

The sports star had shared photos of his snowmobile collection on social media just days before his tragic death.

He captioned the post on Twitter : "This is how some mornings at my ranch in Utah look this time of year – freshly coated with snow."

Just hours before his tragic death, Block tweeted in support of his 16-year-old daughters' racing show.

"The 4th and final episode of my 16-year-old daughter Lia buying, tearing down, rebuilding and now driving her ‘85 Audi Ur Quattro will be live at 8am PST tomorrow on my YouTube channel," he tweeted.

"Will her Audi finally do a donut?? Or will it break in the attempt? Tune in to find out."

Susan Knox

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