American skateboarder Josh Neuman was one of four people killed in a plane crash in Iceland on Tuesday, after police found the aircraft in Lake Thingvallavatn, not far from Reykjavik. The popular YouTuber, 22, went to Iceland to shoot a commercial for the Belgian fashion brand Suspicious Antwerp and do some sightseeing. However, he was reported missing last Thursday, Feb. 3.
Producing skateboarding videos for over 1.2 million fans online, Josh Neuman was known for his daredevil-like stunts, often skydiving from planes and barreling down mountainous terrain. One video of the skateboarding zooming downhill back in 2019 racked up over 106.4 million views alone.
Neuman was also the owner of Neuvision Skate Company, which sold exclusive longboard decks to fans in the U.S. and Canada. The $150 board has since sold out completely.
According to his YouTube page, he started skateboarding and making videos at the age of 12 with his father, later dropping out of college to pursue his extreme sport filmmaking career full time.
“Josh represents the side of humanity we all strive to achieve. The way he not just touched, but impacted lives was on a scale of its own,” his family wrote in an Instagram tribute following news of his death.
“In his quest for adventure, thirst for creativity and passion for a personal reflection, he truly impacted all those he touched,” the post continued. “As the world sheds a tear, we should know that he passed doing what he loved, having just experienced the Northern Lights in Iceland for the first time commenting, ‘This is the happiest day of my life.'”
Icelandic Police have not revealed a potential cause of the plane crash. Investigators are still looking into what happened, delayed after severe weather over the weekend complicated the search for bodies submerged into the waters of Lake Thingvallavatn.
“For the safety of divers we have to wait until the weather improves,” police chief Oddur Arnason said at the time.
According to AP News, Suspicious Antwerp’s sponsorship manager Tim Alings, Icelandic pilot Haraldur Diego, and Belgian sky diver Nicola Bellavia also died in the Iceland crash. Bellavia, 32, was a fellow social media influencer and extreme sport enthusiast shooting the commercial for Suspicious Antwerp alongside Josh Neuman.
“It is with tremendous sadness that we are to report that the occupants consisted of a Suspicious Antwerp employee, two content creators, and an Icelandic pilot,” a statement from the Belgian fashion brand read.
“We are enormously distressed by the news and our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends,” the statement continued. “We are in close contact with them, as well as with the authorities, and we’re doing everything we can to assist them during these difficult times.”
The Cessna 172 plane reportedly did not send a distress signal after going missing on Thursday, forcing over 1,000 members of Iceland’s Search and Rescue organization to go on a search for the aircraft.
The rescue team used a remote-controlled submarine and sonar technology to scour the depths of the country’s second-largest lake, the New York Post revealed, finding their bodies roughly 121 feet deep.
“In 22 short years, Josh lived a phenomenal life,” Neuman’s family wrote on Instagram, “Yet, he still wanted to do more.”
“Since he was a little boy, he has always taken a significant piece of each dollar earned and given back to charity,” the American skateboarder’s family announced. They pledged to create a charitable foundation in honor of their son’s memory “so that his name, and his enduring spirit, will never perish.”