Motorcycle daredevil Jeremy “Pitbull” Lusk died Tuesday night in the Intensive Care Unit of Calderon Hospital in San Jose, Costa Rica. He was in an induced coma and succumbed to injuries suffered in a motocross competition called the “X Knights” Saturday in San Jose’s Ricardo Saprissa Stadium.
Lusk, a freestyle motocross (FMX) competitor was trying to complete a move called a “Hart Attack” when he was injured. The move involves flipping the bike upside down in midair, dismounting, then climbing back into the saddle before flipping the bike back so the rubber side is down. Lusk was in the air for about 100 feet and reached a height of 20 feet but that was not quite high enough or far enough.
Witnesses describe him as landing on his front tire which means he did not quite rotate all the way through the stunt.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Lusk fumbled the remount and that the swirling winds in the stadium might have also been a factor. Lusk had failed to complete the same stunt before. He crashed on national television after attempting a Hart Attack at the 2007 X Games.
He walked away from that one but he told ESPN that he could not bring himself to attempt the stunt again for months after the crash. “I was a little scared of it,” he admitted.
Rider Of The Year
The whole point of FMX is to do acrobatics on a flying motorcycle. Unless you are under about the age of 23 it looks insane and many riders are injured but Lusk is the first rider to actually die.
Lusk won a gold medal at the 2008 X Games and a magazine called Transworld Motocross named Lusk its “freestyle rider of the year.” Lusk told the magazine about his ambitions in FMX. “You can either be that one guy who wins a medal and is forgot about in a year,” Lusk said. “Or, you can be the guy who becomes an icon in the sport.”
Yesterday he became motocross’s first martyr.
Lusk was born in San Diego and lived in Temecula, California. He started riding motorcycles when he was three and became a professional rider when he was 19. He is survived by his wife Lauren and his parents, Chuck and Gina Lusk. Jeremy Lusk was just 24.
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