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Snowmobiler Caleb Moore dies 1 week after Winter X Games crash

Published January 31, 2013 11:42 pm

Winter sports • Moore, 25, was injured when attempting a backflip.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Denver • Caleb Moore, an innovative freestyle snowmobile rider who was hurt in a crash at the Winter X Games in Colorado, died Thursday morning. He was 25.

Moore had been staying at a hospital in Grand Junction since the crash in Aspen one week before. Family spokeswoman Chelsea Lawson confirmed his death.

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.

Caleb Moore was attempting a backflip Jan. 24 in the freestyle event when the skis on his 450-pound snowmobile caught the lip of the landing area, sending him flying over the handlebars. Moore landed face first into the snow with his snowmobile rolling over him.

Moore stayed down for quite some time, before walking off with help and going to a hospital to treat a concussion. Moore developed bleeding around his heart and was flown to a hospital in Grand Junction 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.

The family said in a statement they were grateful for all the prayers and support they have received from people around the world.

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."

B.C. Vaught, Caleb Moore's agent for almost a decade, said he first saw Moore when he was racing an ATV in Minnesota and signed him up to star in some action sports movies.

Later, Moore wanted to make the switch from ATVs to snowmobiles and asked Vaught to show him how to do a backflip. In two weeks, Moore mastered the difficult maneuver.

Moore's brother also got involved in snowmobiling, the close-knit duo pushing each other to become better.

Moore honed his skills in Krum, a town of about 5,000 people 50 miles northwest of Dallas that rarely sees snow. Instead, he worked on tricks by launching his sled into a foam pit. After a brief training run on snow ramps in Michigan, he was ready for his sport's biggest stage — the 2010 Winter X Games.

Fellow snowmobile rider Levi LaVallee recently described Moore as a "fierce competitor."