On Saturday, January 14, San Jacinto, Calif. resident and Dew Tour BMX park and dirt competitor Thomas Hancock was killed when he lost control of the SUV he was driving and it rolled over. According to the Southwest Riverside News Network, "Hancock was heading east on Ramona Expressway near Lakeview Avenue in Nuevo at about 5 a.m. when he lost control of the vehicle and it flipped over, said Cheri Patterson of the fire department." Hancock was pronounced dead at the scene at 5:18 a.m.
Hancock rode for Specialized Bicycles during his career, competed on the Dew Tour Circuit, and originally hailed from the Phoenix, Ariz. area, where he discovered BMX. In a tribute to Hancock on Arizona BMX site The Dagger Zone by KC Badger, Hancock was remembered for his abilities. "Last year at a random local contest, Thomas showed up and completely dominated everyone. Not only did he have all those circus tricks (remember the 360 backflip tailwhip) he had some of the best style in the game," said Badger.
Jason Ryan of Psychicflyingmonkey Productions uploaded Hancock's section from his full-length video "The Impetus of Cletus," and also paid tribute to Hancock's character. "Thomas was heavily influenced by motocross and motorsports culture. He grew up around it. His friends and family were into motorsports. It's where he came from. When he made it in BMX freestyle, he didn't try to hide or deny who he was. He rocked the moto-style in his clothes and riding, and didn't try to change it to accommodate the masses of BMX hipsters," said Ryan via email.
"Thomas had a great attitude, and was just a cool, nice kid. It had been a while since I saw him last, and I'm sorry I'll never get to ride or film with him again. My condolences go out to his family and friends," he continued.
A memorial service is scheduled for Saturday, January 21, with a viewing from 5-7 p.m. following by a service from 7-9 p.m. at the Evans-Brown Mortuary in Sun City, Calif. A legacy fund has also been set up on the Hancock BMX site, with all proceeds going to his family.