Josh Neuman, a popular American YouTuber, skateboarder, and social media influencer, according to a statement released by his family on Monday, died in a small plane accident in Iceland.
Neuman had been on a sightseeing trip with Suspicious Antwerp, a Belgian-based streetwear business, to generate material for his partner.
The airline said that Neuman was aboard the plane, alongside Suspicious Antwerp sponsorship manager Tim Ailings, a Belgian skydiver and media influencer named Nicole Bellavia, and the pilot Haraldur Diego. All of those on board the aircraft perished in the accident.
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The plane, a four-seat Cessna 1172 Skyhawk, went missing on Thursday. It had not sent out a distress signal and was only discovered via the efforts of over 1,000 rescue workers after several days.
On Saturday, they discovered the missing plane 30 miles from Reykjavik, near Lake Thingvallavatn. The following day, when sonar and submarine searches were conducted, the four bodies were found; however, they have yet to be recovered owing to bad weather. Once the weather improves, retrieval efforts will continue.
Suspicious Antwerp released a statement to NPR. “We are enormously distressed by the news and our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends,” it read. “We are in close contact with them, as well as with the authorities, and we’re doing everything we can to assist them during these difficult times.”
A statement on the Suspicious Antwerp website read, “The loss of our close friends has left all of us at Suspicious Antwerp in a state of mourning. We want to express our immense gratitude to everyone for their support, condolences, and love. The same gratitude goes out to the emergency services, volunteers, and many others that have been and are still working selflessly day and night to help the loved ones find closure.”
Neuman, who had more than 1,200,000 YouTube subscribers when he died, rose to fame with his daredevil videos, such as racing down mountain switchbacks on his longboard and hiking volcanoes.
Over 100 million people have watched the video titled “Raw Run: Race Against the Storm.” When he was 12 years old, he began filming for the site. He has produced more than a thousand videos for YouTube since then.
Neumann began his career as a content developer after graduating from college in North Carolina. He decided to go full time with his hobby after seeing the world. In his line of work as a content creator, he had traveled the world filming material for a diverse portfolio of clients including Prada, Lexus, and Go Pro.
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According to his family’s Instagram statement, Neuman “represents the side of humanity we all strive to achieve. The way he not just touched, but impacted lives was on a scale of its own. In his quest for adventure, thirst for creativity, and passion for a personal reflection, he truly impacted all those he touched.”
“As the world sheds a tear, we should know that he passed doing what he loved, having just experienced the Northern Lights in Iceland for the first time commenting, ‘This is the happiest day of my life.’”
The family has announced that a charity will be created to continue his legacy and desire for “ending homelessness, protecting clean water, aiding animal preservation, and fighting deforestation.”
They noted that “Since he was a little boy, he has always taken a significant piece of each dollar earned and given back to charity.”
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Neuman’s family and those who also perished in the crash.
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