Report: BMX rider dies after plunge
Leading Australian BMX rider Dane Searls has died from injuries he sustained after trying to jump from a balcony into a pool at a local pub, the Gold Coast Bulletin reported Friday.
Searls, 23, had been hospitalized since late Sunday at the Gold Coast Hospital with severe head and back injuries. His death Friday morning was confirmed by police.
Witnesses said he was trying to jump from a balcony into the pool at nightspot Billy’s Beach House on Sunday, but misjudged the distance.
Searls was the mastermind behind the "Giants of Dirt" project, a series of long-range dirt jumps that rivaled the biggest in the world, ESPN reported. It was popular on YouTube and placed Searls in the global BMX spotlight.
The incident came just two days after Searls set a world record for dirt jumping on a BMX, clearing a series of gaps up to 60 feet (18m).
Paul Everest, the director of Unit Clothing that sponsored Searls, said the extreme sport star was celebrating the record-breaking feat when he jumped off the balcony.
Unit Clothing placed a tribute to Searls on its website titled "High Flight," which was linked to his profile.
Police will prepare a report for the state coroner, who will officially determine the cause of death.