Marty Smith, Motocross Legend, Dead at 63 After Dune Buggy Accident

Marty Smith, legendary motocross star and his wife, Nancy, were killed in a dune buggy accident in California, according to TMZ. He was 63 years old. Officials told TMZ Marty and Nancy were in a buggy that flipped at the Imperial San Dunes and then rolled down a hill. Marty was not wearing a safety harness and Nancy was only wearing a lap belt.

"It’s with the heaviest, grieving heart that I have to tell you Marty and Nancy Smith were killed yesterday in a rollover accident in his dune buggy at the imperial sand dunes," Marty's best friend Lee Ramage said on social media. "My wife, Tammi and I were in the buggy and were unhurt. We spent at least an hour trying to save their lives before first responders arrived. Marty took his last breath while I was holding his head, keeping his airway clear. Marty was my best friend and I tried with everything in me to save him while Tammi tried to save Nancy. There is so much to know about this man and how he wanted to leave this earth when God called him. Please keep his children, Jillyin, Brooke, and Tyler and all his grandkids in your prayers."

Marty Smith became a star in the motocross world when he won the inaugural AMA 125cc National Motocross Championship in 1974 at the age of 17. He won the event again in 1975 and also won the 500cc championship in 1977. He retired from racing in 1981 and won a total of 18 races in his career. Smith was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2000.

"I was 13 when I first started racing," Smith said to Moto X Addicts back in December. "I started riding when I was six years old. My dad and his buddies used to ride out in the local trails and hills, before it got popular here in the states. Basically, they had street bikes that were cut down and they put knobbies on them, high front fenders, to make them look like a dirt bike, or as close as they thought a dirt bike should look, because they didn’t even know what a dirt bike was. These guys were the real pioneers."