The world of off road mourns the loss of rising star Jeff “OX” Kargola. OX passed away this afternoon riding in Baja with the Monster Energy Rip To the Tip. A two-time, repeat champion of the San Felipe 250 Kargola, along with team mate Colton Udall, leads the SCORE series points championship after round one for the bikes.
According to early reports, Kargola may have died from internal injuries and while it’s far to soon to speculate, it is possible that multiple broken ribs may have caused a punctured lung after a high speed tumble in the whoops.
This is extremely sobering and saddening news for a handful of Ox’s closest friends and all of the “Rip Brothers” who were accompanying him on an 8-day adventure from the US border to Cabo San Lucas. OX had built a solid career in the world of FMX and performed on tour with the traveling FMX stunt show “Nuclear Cowboys”. He was also climbing the ranks of short course truck racing on the Lucas Oil Off Road Series. Ox was also an accomplished surfer noted for his prowess in big waves including huge Waimea Bay in Hawaii.
Cameron Steele, one of Kargola’s closest friends and more of a father figure to him, mentored OX and has been an integral part of helping his career blossom into what it is today.
Steele, the co-founder and official ringleader of the Monster Energy Rip To the Tip, addressed the Rip Brothers at the El Cortez Hotel in San Felipe this afternoon. In a somber announcement, Steele explained that despite the incredible teamwork of the Rip crew in stabilizing OX, he had passed around noon shortly after he arrived by helicopter to the hospital in San Felipe.
In the emotional yet stoic address, Steele said “He was like a son to me and he loved you all like brothers.”
Later as the sun had set, an impromptu memorial was staged for the entire Rip crew to pay tribute to our fallen brother. His bike was placed on a stand under bright lights and surrounded in a circle of his brothers and our bikes. Many of his closest friends approached the bike and paid tribute with stories and memories of OX. Baja legend Johnny Campbell eulogized his brother, “Jeff was an extraordinary athlete. He never ceased to amaze me with his multiple talents. Whether it was off road moto racing, truck racing, big wave surfing or FMX, he excelled with incredible style. We are all very sad and mourning the loss of our brother. God speed my friend!”
If you don’t know OX watch this video that portraits him just after this years Baja 250 win in March.