The AMA Motocross Championship is one of the biggest motorsports series in the United States. Riders compete in off-road motorcycle races at various events around the country. The American Motorcyclist Association operates it.

One of the most famous drivers in the history of the series is Marty Smith. Smith competed in the AMA Motocross Championship during the 1970s and the 1980s. Even following his retirement from AMA Motocross, Smith remained active in motorsports. Both competitively and as a hobby. And recent partaking in this hobby ended in tragedy for Smith and his wife.

Were killed from dune buggy accident

Smith, his wife Nancy, and two friends were dune buggying at the Algodones Dunes in California on April 27. Eventually, there was an accident, which caused the dune buggy to roll over with the passengers still inside.

Marty Smith was reportedly not wearing a seatbelt while Nancy Smith was. Marty died at the scene of the accident. Nancy died later at a hospital after being airlifted from the scene.

The Smiths and their friends were apparently in a particularly remote area at the time. According to Yahoo, it took more than an hour for first responders to reach them. CNN indicates that the friends of the Smith were not injured.

Among those mourning, the loss was motocross racer Scott Champion.

Champion wrote that working with Smith in 2014 and 2015 'were some of the best times' of his life. Noted motorsports apparel brand JT Racing also released a statement. It said in part that they were praying for the Smiths' family and the entire motocross community.

Marty Smith won three AMA Motocross Series Championships

During his racing career in AMA Motocross, Smith was known for having a 'textbook perfect' riding style.

His long, flowing hair also became a signature of his. Smith spent most of his AMA Motocross riding career using a Honda motorcycle. The company featured him prominently in advertisements, and Smith and his Honda appeared on several magazine covers.

Smith was highly successful in his racing pursuits. He won the first two championships in the 125cc Class after AMA Motocross officially began racing it.

Later, he won another championship in 500cc Class. In 1976, Smith raced in the 125cc Class of the Motocross World Championships, finishing in fourth place.

Smith was seriously injured in a 1978 crash at the Astrodome in Houston, Texas. He would break his hip in the process. He never reached the same success in the AMA Motocross Series afterward as he had before. After retiring as a driver in the series, he became a coach. But he did still race in events on occasion. In 1991, he was part of a team that won the famed Baja 1000 race in Mexico.

In 2000, Smith was inducted in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame.