American Freestyle Motocross Racer Jeremy Lusk Dies After Failed Backflip

Jeremy Lusk, an American freestyle motocross racer, died of head injuries on Tuesday after crashing while trying to land a backflip in competition. He was 24.

Jorge Ramirez, chief of the intensive care unit at Calderon Hospital where Lusk was put into a medicine-induced coma, said the motocross racer suffered severe brain damage and a possible spinal cord injury.

Lusk won a gold medal at the 2008 X Games. He was injured on Saturday when he failed to complete a full rotation while attempting a Hart Attack backflip and slammed headfirst into the dirt. Lusk crashed in almost identical fashion in the freestyle semifinals at the 2007 X Games but was not hurt.

He had a successful 2008 season, winning freestyle gold at the X Games and silver in best trick when he landed the first double-grab Hart Attack backflip. He won a bronze helmet in freestyle at the Moto X World Championships in his hometown of San Diego.

Ramirez said Lusk died with his parents and his wife, Lauren, at his side.

Lusk lived in Temecula, California.