Famed YouTube Skateboarder Dies in Plane Crash

Bodies of Josh Neuman, 3 others found in Iceland's second-largest lake
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 8, 2022 12:03 PM CST

(Newser) – American skateboarder and YouTube star Josh Neuman is one of four people confirmed to have died in a small plane crash in Iceland. The bodies of the 22-year-old, the pilot of the Cessna 172, and two other passengers were discovered Sunday in Lake Thingvallavatn—Iceland's second-largest lake, some 30 miles east of Reykjavik—using a remote submarine and sonar, reports the Guardian. Poor weather prevented their immediate recovery. The plane is believed to have crashed Thursday after disappearing from radar. More than 1,000 search and rescue personnel launched a hunt for the aircraft, which had not issued a distress signal, per Sky News.

The wreckage was ultimately found at a depth of more than 150 feet. Also on board: 49-year-old pilot Haraldur Diego, who ran photography tours; 32-year-old Belgian skydiver and social media influencer Nicola Bellavia; and 27-year-old Tim Alings, who was the sponsorship manager for Belgian fashion brand Suspicious Antwerp. Cameras were meant to capture footage of Iceland’s scenery during the flight as part of a project to create commercial content for the brand, a rep says, per the Guardian. "All persons present were hugely passionate about travel and content creation, hence these themes were the main focus of the trip," the rep adds.

Neuman—who also worked with brands including Prada, Sony, Lexus, and GoPro, per the Washington Post—had nearly 1.2 million subscribers on YouTube, where he posted some of the most-watched skateboarding videos on the internet. One 2019 video, viewed more than 106 million times, shows him racing down a mountain road at breathtaking speed. Another video, uploaded last month, shows him reaching 70mph on a longboard. In a Monday statement shared on Neuman's Instagram page, his family said he "passed doing what he loved, having just experienced the Northern Lights in Iceland for the first time." In a brief clip shared with the statement, Neuman exclaims, "This may be the best night of my life." (Read more plane crash stories.)

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