American skateboarder Josh Neuman was one of four men killed when a sightseeing plane crashed into a lake in Iceland, officials said Tuesday.
The 22-year-old influencer, whose YouTube channel has almost 1.2 million subscribers, was reportedly aboard the Cessna 172 single-engine plane to create commercial content for the Belgian fashion brand Suspicious Antwerp.
Also killed in the tragedy were Tim Alings, 27, the company’s sponsorship manager, Nicola Bellavia, 32, a skydiver and fellow social media influencer from Belgium, and the pilot, Haraldur Diego, 49, officials said.
The bodies were discovered Sunday in Lake Thingvallavatn, Iceland’s second-largest lake, with the use of a remote-controlled submarine and sonar technology.
“The remains of four people at the bottom of the lake have been found and located at a depth of 37 meters (about 121 feet) or less,” police said in a statement, CNN reported.
Divers have not been able to retrieve the remains due to poor weather.
“For the safety of divers we have to wait until the weather improves,” police chief Oddur Arnason told The Associated Press.
The plane didn’t send a distress signal after disappearing from radar on Thursday. The wreckage was found Saturday in a portion of the lake about 30 miles east of the capital, Reykjavik.
In a statement posted on Neuman’s Instagram page, the family said: “Josh 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,” the statement by Neuman’s parents, Chris and Kristin, and brother Daniel said.
“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,’” it added.
Suspicious Antwerp also released a statement on its website.
“It is with tremendous sadness that we are to report that the occupants consisted of a Suspicious Antwerp employee, two content creators, and an Icelandic pilot,” it said.
“We are enormously distressed by the news and our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends. 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,” the company added.
Neuman, who had been living in Los Angeles, was known for his daredevil videos, including skydiving and racing down mountains on his skateboard.
One of his YouTube videos – a five-minute clip titled “Raw Run: Race Against the Storm” that shows him barreling down a road on a board — has amassed more than 106 million views.
According to his homepage, Neuman began making videos at the age of 12 with his father’s camera and later dropped out of college to pursue a career in extreme sports and filmmaking.
In 2020, he published a sponsored video for Suspicious Antwerp, skating on a longboard down a winding road in LA.
Suspicious Antwerp spokesman Bram Boriau said the purpose of the doomed flight was to capture footage of Iceland’s stunning scenery.
“All persons present were hugely passionate about travel and content creation, hence these themes were the main focus of the trip,” he told the AP by email.
With Post Wires