OT- X Games snowmobiler dies

Submitted by ATLalumni on January 31st, 2013 at 1:15 PM

Not sure how many watched the XGames, but i'm sure there are avid snowmobilers on this site, and we all know the dangers.  Caleb Moore, 25, died today from injuries suffered during his trick attempt at the Games.  Didn't look that bad if you watched, especially after he got up and walked off on his own.  Had some bleeding around his heart, but it was brain damage that apparently became fatal.  Sad day.

P.S. his younger brother was also in the XGames and seperated his pelvis.  Scary.



January 31st, 2013 at 1:23 PM ^

I've seen way too many injuries/deaths in the X Games, Motocross, etc. to ever get upset with the NFL about their concussion "problem."

It's sad for the sport and the family, but when you're doing flips with 500 lb. machines, this is the risk.


January 31st, 2013 at 2:34 PM ^

There are always injuries with on-snow competions due to what is involved.  Ski racing, particualry the downhill, is fraught with peril. Olympic sports like the luge are scary fast.

As somone who lived in Aspen for a couple of years and used to work on the hill for World Cup racing events, you have no idea, untess you have seen it up close and personal, how risky some of these events truly are, although the idea of doing acrobatics with a snowmobile is a bit over the top.

If the athletes who play these sports, winter and summer, want to assume these risks, I say let them.  You can't protect everyone from themselves all of the time.

Having said that, my sincere condolences go out to the family of  Caleb Moore.


January 31st, 2013 at 4:19 PM ^

But there are lots of them for people who are trying to acquire the skills to actually compete in them or events like it, along with scores of serious injuries also. If you go back through the medical history of most of the competitors they are all sporting various forms of surgeries, bone repairs, shoulder/collarbone, neck and head injuries and many at the age of 25 are held together with wire and steel in more than one part of their body. The injuries/deaths aren't directly attributable to the X Games per se, but to extreme sports in general. It is the nature of the business/sport/whatever. 

I say this having done my time doing a lot of backcountry snowboarding that some would consider extreme, i.e. avalanche zones, steeps and drop-offs and there is always a risk, hence the term X/extreme.

My condolences to the family friends and fans of Caleb, going that young always sucks.  



January 31st, 2013 at 5:14 PM ^


I tend to separate backcountry skiing from the park and pipe skiing and boarding that the xgames has really popularized. It seems like in the former, there's a way that people who are unprepared are actively discouraged from going into the backcountry. Usually, you need to be local or know locals to feel confident going through the gates or hiking up somewhere. I've seen people at backcountry gates actively stop people who didn't have proper equipment (not particularly polite conversations, but they got the point across). At any rate, the idea that you're not going to end up at a lift and are going to have to hike at the beginning or end usually serves to discourage most people.

I've never seen that with people going into the park and pipe, and they've usually seen enough to know how to approach a jump. They have no idea how to judge proper speed or what to do when they're in the air, though (this seems a bigger problem with skiers, who tend  to either speed check at the last second and land on the transition or to lean back and just go everywhere). Maybe I'm just thinking about this difference because I saw about 4 people get sledded off the park when they had no business being in there while I was skiing with my kids last weekend (and seeing how much they wanted to hit the kickers after watching the xgames, and they're 5).


January 31st, 2013 at 1:58 PM ^

To be clear, you're talking about someone else in the second paragraph. Caleb Moore, the guy who died, had pretty extensive experience jumping snowmobiles.

As someone below mentions, there must have been something weird with the snow because this event had an unusual number of huge crashes. There hadn't been much snow in Colorado until this week, so they may have been using artificial snow, which has  significantly different qualities than real snow. 


January 31st, 2013 at 2:00 PM ^

You are combining two stories from this years X-games.  The "runaway" snowmobile was Jackson Strong's sled, when his clutch got stuck and sent the sled towards the spectators.  Caleb Moore was injured on the clip below.  

Also, Caleb (and his brother) have been in the X-games for 4 years. Yes originally they had no experience on snow, being from Texas, and were 4-wheel stunt drivers.  But in the past 4 years they have plenty of experinece.



January 31st, 2013 at 2:32 PM ^

Have you ever watched downhill racing?  Racers go off the course all the time. Even motorsports have instances where cars fly into the stands and take out spectators. Check out European rally racing.   Crap, going to a baseball or hockey game has some degree of risk to spectators from balls, bats and pucks.

I have never owned a snowmobile, but I would assume that it would have some sort of an automatic shutoff or override should the rider fall off.  Perhaps that failed.


January 31st, 2013 at 8:20 PM ^

I know this is two different stories.  It was a response to something other than the original post.  Also the problem is that downhill skiiers etc. are not allowed to partake in the highly dangerous events without experience.  The snowmobiler who lost control had hardly ever rode the thing and he lost control of it and it shot into the crowd.  


January 31st, 2013 at 1:34 PM ^

I'm not a fan, so it isn't like I've been searching for articles, but it wasn't all that long ago. I suspect they all know the risks. 


January 31st, 2013 at 1:45 PM ^

I saw his crash live, and I was absolutely shocked to see him stand up and walk around afterwards.  So sad to hear the extent of his injuries, but that crash looked absolutely awful.  Thoughts are with his family.

Son of Lloyd Brady

January 31st, 2013 at 1:45 PM ^

This is horrible. I know it wasn't at the X-Games but Sarah Burke's death last year and Moore's death this year are devastating. Two great young athlete's at the top of their game struck down in their prime. R.I.P. Caleb.


January 31st, 2013 at 2:19 PM ^

I like watching the X-games, and my wife and I saw this accident. I have always wonder how safe it's is to have an event where you have a snowmobile performing high risk tricks. Once that Machine is in the air, how much control does the rider have? It's a sad day, and maybe the x-games can do away with snowmobiles doing high risk tricks. My sympathy goes out to his family and friends.


January 31st, 2013 at 2:23 PM ^

It's a risky sport. The X-Games include lots of events where people fly high in the air at high speed; in the case of snowmobile tricks, they are doing so with large, heavy objects flying in the air with them.

He knew the risks. He embraced them. A freak accident on the landing (as he hit the ground, the snowmobile hit him nose to the chest--not sure how you can prevent that from happening) caused his injury. It is very sad. Don't know that you can do much about it going forward. Auto racing, also a risky sport, continues unabated, albeit with much-strengthened safety precautions (precautions which don't really apply to stunt sports like this). 

FWIW the brain complication was a direct complication of the bleeding around the heart; it is likely that blood flow to the brain was interrupted. Very sad.


January 31st, 2013 at 2:25 PM ^

Was watching it live on tv with my 9 year old son.  I have to disagree, I thought it looked awful on tv.  Snowmibile clearly came down full force like a javelin on his chest and head and knocked him out immediately.  I was suprised they let him get up and walk off after regaining conciosuness, rather than immobilize him and get him straight to the hospital.

Sextus Empiricus

January 31st, 2013 at 2:27 PM ^

Hindsight is 2020 but you can't let a guy walk around after that ... he's got to be taken to a hospital right away.  Hopefully the medical protocol is reviewed after this incident.  This is an uber dangerous sport that needs to be respected in the medical response procedures.  


January 31st, 2013 at 2:28 PM ^

I hate to see people get hurt doing what they're passionate about.  It's tragic that this kid died.  As a father, it breaks my heart.

Obviously I don't think trying to jump a 500lb snowmobile off a ramp and attempting backwards flip is a very good idea.


January 31st, 2013 at 2:58 PM ^

That really sucks. 

I read the NYT piece and their medical write-up didn't make a ton of sense. The heart contusion leading to a secondary event in the brain, unless he threw a clot, is weird (and even in that case it is weird). Normally in those cases if there was a primary brain issue and they scanned him quickly enough they would be able to see a bleed iand  they could send him to the OR for surgery.


Blue in Yarmouth

January 31st, 2013 at 3:23 PM ^

As a person who has taken part in a lot of high risk activities during my life I always thank god after things such as this. Prayers go out to his family and other loved ones. What a tragedy. RIP.