Ken Block, the rally driver turned extreme sports star and cultural visionary whose stunt driving helped define car enthusiasm for a generation, passed away on Monday January 2 at the age of 55 following a snowmobiling accident, according to a statement from The Hoonigans.
Earlier on Monday, Block posted several updates to his Instagram Stories showing him preparing for a snowmobiling day in northern Utah, where he owns a ranch near his home in Park City. It's not clear what happened, where the accident took place, or if any others were involved. The news is still spreading quickly, and there's been no statement of any kind yet from authorities who responded to the accident.
Block leaves behind a wife, a daughter, and an immense, indelible impact on car culture. After co-founding DC Shoes in the 1990s and a successful rally racing career in the mid-2000s, Block founded and developed the Hoonigan brand and began producing and starring in his hugely popular Gymkhana videos, which have since become a mega cultural force in their own right. Throughout the 2010s, Block kept competing in the World Rally Championship, various levels of rallycross, and assorted other disciplines as he built a reputation as a genuine, authentic guy, a gearhead's gearhead, an ultra talented driver, and a caring, loving husband and father.
We were lucky enough to sit down with Block twice in 2022—once in June after his attempt at a Pikes Peak record run was derailed by mechanical issues, and again in October after the debut of his latest Gymkhana film. At Pikes, we asked him about a new hoodie being sold by Hoonigan that said "Just don't die," apparently inspired by something his wife Lucy told him.
"We all accept the concept that things can go wrong at any point though, we just have to be smart about how we do it," Block replied. "I look at the 'Just Don't Die' thing as a 'good luck' or 'break a leg' type thing. It's meant to acknowledge the danger, but do it in a smart way to come home to my family.
This post is breaking and will be updated.