Eminem‘s former body double Ryan Shepard has died at the age of 40 after being involved in a traffic accident as a pedestrian.
According to the Tri-City Herald, Shepard was struck by a southbound pickup truck as he stepped into the intersection of Olympia Street at 14th Avenue in Kennewick, Washington around 2:45 a.m. local time on January 31.
First responders arrived shortly after the accident and proceeded to transport Ryan Shepard to hospital, where he later died. The driver, who stayed on the scene and cooperated with authorities investigating the accident, did not show any sign of intoxication.
On Sunday (February 12), Shepard’s brother Kyle confirmed to TMZ that the man in question was in fact the same person who worked with Eminem in the early 2000s.
In addition to serving as Em’s stunt double, Ryan Shepard appeared as the rapper’s superhero alter ego, Rap Boy, at the 2002 MTV Movie Awards. Shepard also toured with the Shady Records crew during the 2002 Anger Management Tour.
He would later join Eminem for two more tours, across Europe and Asia, and appear in D12’s “Purple Hills” video.
Despite Ryan Shepard’s early dealings with the entertainment industry, he went on to find success as in the tech world, Mirror reports.
He described himself on LinkedIn as a “Creative Engineer with a passion for Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, and Automation. Experienced in Machining and Prototype Fabrication” whose expertise included “Mechanical Engineering Design & Analysis, Automation, Robotics, and Programming.”
His resumé included a stint as a ride mechanical engineer at Disney and as a test automation engineer for SpaceX, Elon Musk’s company. At the time of his death, he was freelancing as the lead animatronics engineer of California-based firm Garner Holt Productions, which creates animatronic figures and themed displays for attractions, museums, retail and restaurant locations.
Ryan Shepard is survived by two children, ages 11 and seven. At the time of this writing, Eminem — who is not very active on social media these days — had not commented on the tragic loss.