YouTube star Grant 'The King of Random' Thompson dies in tragic paragliding accident at the age of 38
Tributes pour in after authorities discovered the body of Grant Thompson one day after he was reported missing by his family when he failed to return after a paragliding trip on July 29
WASHINGTON COUNTY, UTAH: Grant "The King of Random" Thompson, whose videos on YouTube had accumulated billions of views combined, has died in a paragliding accident. He was 38. His death was confirmed in an Instagram post on his page.
"It is with great sadness to inform everyone that Grant Thompson passed away last night," the statement read. "Grant had great love and appreciation for his fans. We invite you to share your thoughts for Grant and the channel in the comments. Please do a random act of love or kindness today in honor of The King of Random."
"Grant's legacy will live on in the channel and the global community he created," the statement added.
Thompson's body was recovered on the morning of July 30 in Sand Hollow State Park after his family filed a missing person's report the previous evening, when he had gone paragliding and did not return, according to TMZ.
The Washington County Sheriff's Office confirmed that they had received a report on July 29 of an overdue paraglider, later revealed to be Thompson, who had gone off the radar at the park and that the missing person could not be reached on his cell phone.
Authorities subsequently pulled his coordinates from GPS data and a helicopter located his body the same night. The WSCO said detectives found paragliding equipment at the crash site, as well as a video recording device, which they are currently reviewing to determine the cause of the crash.
His brother, Mark, told the outlet that the 38-year-old had an affinity for skydiving, flying, and other airborne activities, but that he had gotten into paragliding just five months ago.
Following the confirmation of his death, YouTube released a statement where they paid tribute to the content creator whose videos on wacky scientific experiments and life hacks, as well as his eccentric persona earned him 11.6 million subscribers and 2.4 billion views — the 321st most on the platform.
"We're deeply saddened to learn of the tragic loss of Grant Thompson, a gifted, passionate and endlessly curious creator," YouTube said. "We send our deepest condolences to his loving family, The King of Random team and fans."
Several YouTubers also expressed their condolences on hearing about Thompson's sudden passing.
"Sending all my love to his friends, family, and community," wrote Justine Ezarik (ijustine), who regularly uploads videos on tech, travel, and video games. "What a joy he brought to so many." Dianna Cowern (thephysicsgirl) similarly wrote, "This is truly shocking and sad. My love goes out to all of his close family and friends."
Thompson, who had recently taken a backseat from his YouTube channel to spend more time with his family, is survived by his wife and four young sons.