SAN DIEGO — Pat Casey is being remembered by the BMX community as a talented rider and role model as well as a loving father and husband.
The 29-year-old died Tuesday at Slayground Motocross Park in Ramona after he lost control of the motocross bike he was riding and was ejected, the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office said. Casey was performing a jump on the park ramps, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department said.
“To have him gone so soon, it’s not real,” Gary Young, a professional BMX rider and friend of Casey told FOX 5 on Wednesday. “He’s one of the toughest humans I’ve ever met. He’s not somebody that was willing to give up just because it was hard. He’s a fighter in the sense that he’s always pushing himself and the limits of what’s possible on a bike.”
Young said he met Casey during a camp when Young was a visiting professional, and Casey was still a teenager, about 16 years ago.
Young is now the director at the YMCA Krause Family Skate Park in Clairemont, a place where he and Casey had ridden together before.
“Some of Pat’s early contests were here at the skate park, and he’s gotten to spend a lot of time coming to the YMCA park,” Young said.
Casey was working on qualifying for the Olympics and had just gotten back from the X Games in Japan and a Paris vacation with his family after a nearby competition.
Young said if Casey could bring his family, they were always with him. He leaves behind a wife, an 8 year-old son, who also rides, and a 7-year-old daughter.
“He’s known for taking slams and getting up,” Young said. “He’s just too good of a person and husband, father, bike rider. This isn’t supposed to happen.”
Young said Casey was generous, always giving back to the action sports community and that the loss is leaving a big hole.
“He always seemed like a superhero,” Young said. “He’s done clinics for kids to come to his home and teach them how to ride bikes, and so the amount that he gives back to the BMX community, it’s an insane loss.”
“He was a really big role model for everyone. He was really good, just fun to watch,” 17-year-old Harken Weatherford told FOX 5.
Weatherford said he was invited to Casey’s house in Riverside to ride with him in his backyard skate park. There’s a memory of him Weatherford said he will never forget.
“I once actually fell at his house, trying a trick and fell. He was the first one over to make sure I was OK and everything,” Weatherford said. “Just a really nice dude.”
“The world is worse with him gone,” Young added.