Who Was Alex Harvill? Motorcycle Daredevil Dies While Attempting World Record Jump

Motorcycle daredevil Alex Harvill died in a horrific crash on Thursday while attempting to break a world record.

According to a Facebook post from the organizers of the 2021 Moses Lake Airshow in Washington, the 28-year-old was trying to achieve the Guinness World Record for Longest Motorcycle Ramp Jump.

To break the record, Harvill would have had to land past the current record of 351 feet, set by Australia's Robbie Maddison on March 29, 2008.

To put the figure into context, that is the same length as a football field, from goal post to goal post.

However, Harvill's first practice jump at the Grant County International Airport went horribly wrong. A video of the crash obtained by TMZ shows the stuntman crashing short of the downward slope on the landing ramp. The impact threw Harvill over the handlebars, while his helmet flew off and he landed heavily on the ground.

Paramedics immediately rushed to the site of the incident and the rider was loaded into an ambulance and taken to the nearby Samaritan Hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly afterward.

"Our deepest sympathies go out to Alex's family, friends and loved ones," Grant County Coroner Craig Morrison said in a written statement on Thursday.

Morrison's staff will conduct an autopsy on Friday to confirm the cause and manner of death, which is normal procedure.

"Our hearts are with Alex and his family," organizers of the Moses Lake Airshow wrote on the event's Facebook page.

"All proceeds from today's jump will be donated to Alex to contribute to his medical expenses."

Harvill, who lived in Ephrata, Washington, already held a Guinness World Record for longest dirt-to-dirt jump. In 2013, he jumped 297 feet at the Horn Rapids Motorsports Complex in West Richland, Washington.

The stuntman is survived by his wife, Jessica, and sons Willis, 4, and Watson, who was born in May.

Jessica had previously acknowledged she had got used to her husband's incredibly risky profession.

"It's a little scary from time to time, but you've got to trust that he knows what he's doing," she was quoted as saying by Yahoo.

"I've been around it so long it's kind of just normal in a way, even though that sounds weird, because it's totally abnormal."

Family friend Debbie Williams told Spokane-CBS affiliate KREM2 that the incident had devastated the daredevil community.

"Everyone around there was traumatized by that," she was quoted as saying. "I knew coming out here today there would be a chance [of a crash]. I really hoped it wouldn't [happen]."

Alex Harvill
Motorcycle daredevil Alex Harvill died on Thursday during a practice run at the Moses Lake Airshow in Washington. Alex Harvill/Instagram