Kurt Caselli, Off-Road Motorcycle Racing Champ, Dies After Crash in Mexico

UPDATED 11/17/2013 at 12:45 PM EST Originally published 11/16/2013 at 03:00 PM EST

Kurt Caselli, Off-Road Motorcycle Racing Champ, Dies After Crash in Mexico
Kurt Caselli
Victor R. Caivano/AP
Off-road motorcycle racer Kurt Caselli has died after a crash in Mexico.

The 30-year-old was competing in the 2013 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 – a 833-mile race – when the accident happened on Friday.

Initial reports claimed that he'd hit a booby trap placed in the road by locals, but KTM reports he'd collided with an animal, resulting in the accident.

"The team, who have now recovered Caselli's bike discovered traces on the machine that indicate he had collided with some animal, which apparently caused the crash," KTM said Saturday.

Caselli, who sustained serious head injuries, was in second place near the end of the race when the accident happened.

"Hugely shocked and saddened to hear of the death of Kurt Caselli as the result of a crash while riding in the Baja 1000," his KTM Racing team said in a statement on its Facebook page. "A huge loss to his family, team and to our sport. Kurt was a wonderful competitor and an [all-around] top guy."

Caselli is survived by fiancée Sarah Jean White, whom he proposed to in August.

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