Jessi Combs’ fatal jet car crashed due to wheel failure

Jessi Combs at SEMA Show 2012

A probe concerning the death of land speed record-chaser Jessi Combs has found that a mechanical failure resulted in her high-speed crash.

Combs was driving the jet-powered North American Eagle throughout Oregon’s Alvord Desert on August 27 when the vehicle was found losing control and bursting into fires.

The Harney County Sherriff’s stated Monday that an investigation of the wreckage has led investigators and Combs’ team to conclude that the front wheel of the vehicle went through a failure, likely from striking an object on the dry lake bed at about 550 mph. The report said that Combs, 39, died from blunt force trauma to her head before her vehicle caught flames.

The vehicle’s forged aluminum wheels were made to retain their integrity at speeds as high as 900 mph.

The team has not discussed the report yet.

Combs was attempting to break the women’s land speed record of 512 mph set at the same place by Kitty O’Neil in 1976. According to the team, before the crash, she finished the two runs in opposite directions at an average speed of 531.889 mph and it has been submitted to Guinness World Records for verification.

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