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It’s difficult to imagine a snowboarding icon involved in a serious car wreck receiving scant media coverage regarding the accident. But Kevin Jones has always preferred a low profile. Two weeks ago, one of snowboarding’s first true stars was involved in a fatal car accident near Auburn, California.

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According to a local news update on the crash, Jones was driving his truck southbound on U.S. Highway 49 as 55-year-old Arthur Blankenship tried to turn onto 49, pulling in front of Jones, whose Ford F-150 struck Blankenship’s Mercury. Unfortunately, Blankenship was pronounced dead at the scene, which Jones didn’t take lightly as he addressed the accident in a social media post on Instagram.

“This is not the way I thought it would happen,” Jones wrote. “I thought I would be doing something ‘dangerous.’ Anybody who knows me knows I hate driving. My worst nightmare (well close to) happened Monday morning when a gentleman pulled out in front of me at 5:30 a.m. while on my way to work. I escaped with a broken c6 in my neck only millimeters from my spine. The other gentlemen was not so lucky. I pray for his family. Please slow down everybody and don’t take one minute of this life for granted.”

Jones, who’s now a father, suffered a broken bone in his neck but it sounds as if he’ll recover. A request for comment from Jones was not immediately returned but the 43-year-old, who won nine X Games medals and was named the industry’s Rider of the Year three consecutive seasons, loathes media coverage. A fantastic talent and supremely influential in the sport, he has become disenchanted in recent years with what he feels snowboarding has become–transforming from a grassroots pursuit into a mainstream, athletic extravaganza.

“Next thing you know, there’s an X-Games commercial on and your face is on that thing and you can’t stop it because now you’re in the system. I hate it,” he said in an interview last year. “I hate what it’s done to my life. I hate what it’s done to the people around me. I hate that the industry has created an aquarium for people to get famous…I’m sorry about being snowboarding’s first super-pro.”


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