Daredevil Alex Harvill died Thursday during a world-record jump practice attempt. Harvill was attempting the record-breaking jump when he crashed into a dirt mound and flew over the handlebars, landing in the dirt, head-first.
The 28-year-old stuntman was set to crush another Guinness World Record Thursday, attempting to break the current record for the longest motorcycle ramp jump ever made. The jump’s current record is held by Robbie Maddison with a 106.98 meter-long and 351 foot-high jump. The attempt was scheduled for 10:00 a.m. PST at Grant County International Airport during the Moses Lake Airshow.
While attempting the stunt, riding his Suzuki 450, Alex Harvill flew into the air but instead of landing on top of the large dirt mound, he crashed into it. His body was reportedly flipped over the handlebars and flung head-first into the dirt. It is unclear whether he died on the scene or shortly after the traumatic incident.
A statement from Grant County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the death of the daredevil, announcing that the Coroner, Craig Morrison, conducted an autopsy. “Corner confirms the death of Alex Harvill,” the statement read. The “28-year-old Ephrata resident… died after crashing his motorcycle while performing a practice jump at the Grant County International Airport this morning.”
Harvill’s family has been notified, according to the Facebook post, and “Coroner Morrison’s staff will conduct an autopsy on Friday to confirm the cause and manner of death.” As of midday Friday, the coroner’s report has not been released.
“Our deepest sympathies go out to Alex’s family, friends, and loved ones,” was written at the end of the post. Hundreds of comments below shared sympathies and sorrow for the late daredevil.
The Moses Lake Airshow has committed to donating all the proceeds from the daredevil’s jump to help pay his medical bills. Harvill just had a second baby, Watson Robert Harvill, last month.
Alex Harvill already holds a world record. In 2013, the daredevil landed in a 297-foot-long jump, successfully launching his dirt bike from one ramp to another at a record-breaking length.
He was a California native who lived in Ephrata, Washington, right by the Moses Lake airport where he performed his last stunt. He is survived by his wife, Jessica, and two sons, Willis, 5, and newborn Watson. A GoFundMe has been set up to support his wife and kids. The site claims that Harvill was the sole provider for the family. As of Friday morning, more than $42,000 was raised.
Harvill was a daredevil through and through, according to his history and love of the sport. His Instagram posts leading up to the airshow convey Harvill’s excitement for the record attempt. “Suzy is ready to be sent!” one post was captioned, with the beautiful American-flag-inspired paint job front and center.
Another post read, “I’m getting excited to send this thing!” attached to a picture of the Suzuki 450 posing in front of the ramp and dirt mound where Harvill was killed. The previous record-breaker, Robbie Maddison also posted on Instagram, after the dreadful death was reported.
“Shattered about the news of the passing of [Alex] he had flown a motorcycle further than anyone else has and was out to set a new world record today when he paid the ultimate price,” the post read. “My heart is broken for his family. Sending our love To Jessica, Willy, and Watson. R.I.P Alex Harvill.”
Harvill was respected in the stunts community for being a daredevil for life. In an interview with the Columbia Basin Herald, Harvill admitted that “I’ve been riding since I was 4, but before that, I would ride on the front of my dad’s bike.”
He continued, saying “My entire life I’ve ridden dirt bikes and looked up to everyone that races dirt bikes and think of those guys as heroes.” With one world record title and plenty of motocross and supercross races under his belt, Harvill will be remembered for being one of the greats.