Caleb Moore dies from X Games injuries

January 31, 2013

Caleb Moore at an X Games press conference last week. (Erik Lars Bakke / AP)

Caleb Moore died today in a Colorado hospital of injuries he suffered last week in a snowmobile crash during Winter X Games competition in Aspen.

Moore, a native of Krum, Texas, was 25. Chelsea Lawson, a spokeswoman for Moore’s family, announced his death in a statement:

“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.”

Moore was injured on what was a routine flip for him. (Christian Murdock / AP)
Moore was injured on what was a routine flip for him. (Christian Murdock / The Gazette via AP)

Moore was injured last Thursday when a backflip that was routine for him went wrong. His 450-pound snowmobile came down on him and, although he was able to leave the course with assistance, he was taken to an Aspen area hospital with a concussion. It was discovered that he had bleeding around his heart and he was taken to a Grand Junction hospital, where he had surgery Friday. On Sunday, Lawson said that that the cardiac injury had led “to a secondary complication involving his brain.” His grandfather, Charles Moore, told The Denver Post that the prognosis was not good.

“It’s definitely a scary thing for a sport like ours,” Levi LaVallee, an X Games snowmobile competitor, said (via USA Today). “The only thing we can do is we can look at that and learn from it and look at how we can try to prevent that.

“Other than that, you look at it, what happened to him, was an accident. He’s done that trick multiple times. He’s practiced. He’s done everything he can to prevent that.”

The fatality is the first for the X Games and ESPN, the Games’ organizer, said in a statement:

“We are deeply saddened by Caleb Moore’s passing and our thoughts and prayers go out to his parents, Wade and Michelle, his brother, Colten, and the entire Moore family. He will be remembered for his natural passion for life and his deep love for his family and friends, and he will always be an inspiration to everyone he touched in the action sports community.

“As a result of this accident we will conduct a thorough review of this discipline and adopt any appropriate changes to future X Games. 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. Caleb was a four-time X Games medalist attempting a move he has landed several times previously.”

Moore’s younger brother, Colten, also was injured in competition last week, suffering a separated pelvis. His family has established a fund at giveforward.com to raise money to help with Caleb Moore’s medical expenses.

Last week, Caleb Moore told John Branch of the New York Times that he had broken his ankle, pelvis, back, tailbone, collarbone and wrist over the years and had had, he estimated, 10 concussions.

“You try not to get hurt, but in this sport it’s kind of the price you pay for not having to work 9 to 5.”

Follow @CindyBoren on Twitter and on Facebook.

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After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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Cindy Boren · January 31, 2013

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