MOSES LAKE, Wash. — A stuntman attempting a world record breaking motorcycle jump Thursday in Moses Lake crashed and died after being airlifted to the hospital, according to the Grant County Sherriff's Department. Ephrata native Alex Harvill, 28, was trying to jump the length of what would be goal post to goal post on a football field.
The 351-foot motorcycle jump attempt happened during the Moses Lake Airshow at the Grant County International Airport.
"Everyone around there was traumatized by that," family friend Debbie Williams said. "I knew coming out here today there would be a chance. I really hoped it wouldn't."
Williams, who said her son is close to Harvill, said his jump fell short. The Sheriff's Office confirmed Alex died after being airlifted to a hospital. A KREM 2 News crew was also there and captured the crash, but we will not be showing it out of respect for Harvill and his loved ones.
"I'm a nurse, so that to me was traumatic," witness Becca Camden said. "Watching that, with his helmet coming off..."
The organizer of the airshow told KREM 2's Morgan Trau that they had medical personnel prepared for Harvill, as they knew this stunt was risky. According to video KREM 2 shot, it was about 2 minutes and 30 seconds before an EMT reached the stuntman after the crash.
This kind of crash isn't uncommon in the sport, according to Legend of Knievel, the brand of American daredevil Robbie Knievel.
"Our sincere condolences go out to the Harvill family and Alex's friends, they are all in our thoughts and prayers," spokesperson and Team Knievel CEO Warren Croyle told KREM 2. "We would like to take this opportunity to remind people that such stunts are to be taken very seriously as the potential for tragedy exists."
The Grant County Coroner will conduct an autopsy Friday to confirm the cause and manner of death.
Harvill leaves behind his wife Jessica and two young sons Willis and Watson.
"While this was obviously a very tragic event that unfolded, Alex was doing what he loved to do," his stepmother exclusively told KREM 2's Morgan Trau. "And we thank everyone for their outpouring of support."
"I can't believe what the airshow is doing," Harvill said previously before the accident, "They have organized so many people and businesses to support me!."
Harvill previously set a world record for the longest dirt-to-dirt jump of 297 feet at Horn Rapids Motorsports Complex in Richland, Washington in 2013.