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Snowmobiler dies of injuries sustained in X Games crash

(Reuters) - Freestyle snowmobiler Caleb Moore died on Thursday from injuries sustained last week in a dramatic crash while competing at the Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado, the first fatality in the event's history. He was 25.

Moore was critically injured last Thursday when he was sent flying over the handlebars while attempting a backflip. He landed face first into the snow before his machine crashed on top of him.

The four-time X Games medalist from Texas was airlifted to a hospital where he underwent emergency surgery for bleeding around his heart, according to a report on ESPN, which founded and organizes the X Games.

"This morning Caleb Moore passed away. He will be truly missed and never forgotten," the Moore family said in a statement on ESPN.

"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."

Moore is the first fatality in the 18-year history of the X Games, which features athletes competing in a number of extreme sports.

"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," said ESPN in a statement in story posted on their website.

"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.

ESPN added that there will be an investigation to the crash but noted that the trick was one Moore had attempted and landed cleanly many times before.

(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Frank Pingue)

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