Snowmobiler in critical condition after Winter X

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 29, 2013 at 8:54 pm •  Published: January 29, 2013
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DENVER (AP) — Snowmobiler Caleb Moore was in critical condition Tuesday in a Colorado hospital after a dramatic crash at the Winter X Games in Aspen, and a relative said the family wasn't hopeful about the 25-year-old's chances for survival.

Moore was performing a flip Thursday when he clipped the top of a jump and went over the handlebars and landed face first into the snow. The snowmobile rolled over him, but he walked off with help and went to a hospital with a concussion.

Moore later developed bleeding around his heart and was flown to a hospital in Grand Junction for surgery. The family later said that Moore, of Krum, Texas, also had a complication involving his brain.

"Caleb is not doing good at all," his grandfather Charles Moore told The Denver Post. "The prognosis is not good at all. It's almost certain he's not going to make it."

A family spokeswoman reissued a statement Tuesday thanking fans, friends and family for their support and asked for continued prayers. The family declined further comment.

A separate accident Thursday left Moore's younger brother, Colten, with a separated pelvis at Winter X, an increasingly popular event that showcases the world's best action sports athletes in a festival atmosphere.

The safety of the snowmobile events has fallen under scrutiny with several recent accidents and mishaps. In addition to the crashes by the Moore brothers, there also was a scary scene when a runaway sled veered into the crowd Sunday night after the rider fell off during a jump gone wrong.

In that incident, snowmobiling newcomer Jackson Strong tumbled off his machine during the best trick competition. The throttle stuck on the 450-pound sled and it swerved straight toward the crowd as fans scurried out of the way.

In a statement, X Games officials said their thoughts and prayers were with Caleb and his family. They also said that they've paid close attention to safety issues during the event's 18-year history.

"Still, when the world's best compete at the highest level in any sport, risks remain. Caleb is a four-time X Games medalist who fell short on his rotation on a move he has landed several times previously," the statement said.

To help defray the medical costs, a website has been set up for the family. There's a picture of Moore on the site and a message that reads: "Caleb Moore is an inspiration to us all and we want to support him and his family so they may stay strong during this difficult time. If you are not familiar with Caleb, he lives life to the fullest.

"The world knows Caleb as a brilliant freestyle rider, but his family and friends know him as a fun-loving and deeply loyal person."

In addition, Strong pledged to auction off his outfit from Winter X and donate the proceeds to the Moore family.

Moore grew up racing all-terrain vehicles in Texas and later crossed over into snowmobiling, his agent, B.C. Vaught, said. Two weeks after Vaught said he taught the 17-year-old Caleb to do a backflip, he said he was ready for prime time and joined Vaught's road show, including a trip to Europe.

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