Car accident kills “Ax Man” Gabe Rygaard

Another beloved cast member of the History Channel’s long-running show “Ax Men” has tragically passed away. Gabe Rygaard, owner of a family logging company that has been featured in many episodes, was killed in a violent car accident on Friday. He was quickly transported to a local hospital but pronounced dead soon after his arrival. His death follows the passing of fellow loggers Jimmy Smith in 2012 and William Colantuono in 2013.

The tragedy occurred as the 45-year-old reality-TV star was traveling on Highway 101 near his home in Port Angeles, Washington. Although six other people were involved in the car accident, only Rygaard suffered fatal injuries. Images show his white Ford Bronco with its hood mangled and its front wheels off their axles. The other vehicles, a Chevy Tahoe and a Dodge Ram, are also severely damaged. A kayak lies in the middle of the road; apparently one of the three vehicles involved in the crash was hauling it. According to the State Patrol, Rygaard first rear-ended the Tahoe that had slowed down in front of him and then swerved into oncoming traffic. He was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the car accident.

Gabe was a widely popular participant on “Ax Men” as he faced the daily challenges of life as a lumberjack. He was a regular on the show for eight seasons beginning in its second year. His father, Craig, had started Rygaard Logging in the early 1990’s and turned the company over to Gabe upon his retirement at the end of the show’s sixth season. Since the ultimate goal of the family and crew is to revitalize damaged forests and deliver necessary timber to citizens, they have won the hearts of many viewers. After the cancellation of the show in early 2016, Gabe entered the world of politics and made an unsuccessful run as a Republican candidate for Clallam County Commissioner.

Gabe Rygaard will be missed by his fans and co-stars as well as his family members and friends. His wife, Katy, submitted a Facebook post in which she referred to him as her best friend and father of her children. The loss resulting from this grievous car accident will be difficult for everyone who knew and loved the admired “ax man”.

* This blog is not meant to dispense legal advice and is not a comprehensive review of the facts, the law, this topic or cases related to the topic. For a full review of our disclaimer and policies, please click here.

Phone Use While Driving: A Leading Cause of Distraction

Phone Use While Driving: A Leading Cause of Distraction 

Distracted driving is any activity that causes a driver to lose focus on the road. Using a phone while driving is a leading cause of distracted driving. Approximately 1.6 million car crashes related to phone...
What Is Whiplash? A Common Car Accident Injury Explained

What Is Whiplash? A Common Car Accident Injury Explained

As a note: Always consult with a physician about any potential whiplash injury or pain. General discussion about whiplash is not medical advice. Whiplash is an injury generally caused by...
California Has 3 of the U.S.’s 10 Most Dangerous Roads

California Has 3 of the U.S.’s 10 Most Dangerous Roads 

According to the National Highway Safety Administration (NHSTA), in 2020 there were 1.37 fatalities for every 100 million vehicle miles traveled. This is the highest fatality rate since 2007.   Driving is inherently dangerous. But the likelihood of a crash...