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Daredevil motorbike rider Alex Harvill dies during world-record jump practice

·2 min read
<span>Photograph: Facebook</span>
Photograph: Facebook

An experienced motorcycle stunt rider was killed in Washington state as he practiced for an attempt at a world record jump.

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Alex Harvill crashed into a dirt berm during a warm-up jump at the Moses Lake airshow on Thursday. The 28-year-old was thrown from the bike and taken to hospital, where he died.

In a statement, the Grant county sheriff Tom Jones said an autopsy would be performed on Friday.

“Our deepest sympathies go out to Alex’s family, friends and loved ones,” Jones said.

Video of the crash posted to YouTube was taken down on Friday, although the images remained on several local news stations’ websites. The site for the weekend airshow at Grant county international airport was still advertising details of the record attempt.

Harvill, who was married with two young sons, was already the Guinness world record holder for the dirt-to-dirt category, having jumped 90.69m (297.6ft) in 2013.

At the Washington event he was riding a Suzuki 450 as he attempted to better rival Robbie Madison’s 2008 world record in the ramp-to-distance category of 106.98m (351ft).

Harvill was born in California and lived in Ephrata, Washington, adjacent to Moses Lake, with his wife, Jessica, and sons Willis, five, and a newborn, Watson.

A GoFundMe appeal on the rider’s website said Harvill was the family’s sole provider, through motorcycle stunts and a farming job. The site had raised more than $42,000 by Friday morning.

In an interview in the Columbia Basin Herald last month, Harvill said he grew up watching the motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel, and shared his idol’s legacy of “pushing the limits.”

One of Harvill’s final Instagram posts three days before his death featured a photograph of his green and yellow motorcycle in front of the ramp with the words: “I’m getting excited to send this thing.”