PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The crash that killed professional racer Jessi Combs in Oregon while she was trying to break her own land-speed record happened when the front wheel assembly collapsed near 550 mph.
Combs, 36, was driving her jet-powered car through the Alvord Desert when she lost control of the vehicle on August 27.
In a press release, the Harney County Sheriff’s Office said the evidence recovered by the North American Race Team found “a mechanical failure of the front wheel, most likely caused from striking an object on the desert.”
Combs died from blunt force trauma before the fire that engulfed the race car after the crash, the sheriff’s office said.
Combs was previously named the “fastest woman on four wheels” after setting a record with a speed of 298 mph piloting her jet-powered North American Eagle Supersonic Speed Challenger.
Her team submitted one of her last runs to the Guinness Book of World Records to claim the title of fastest woman on the planet. The team said she had 2 earlier runs the day of her death of 515 mph and another at 548 mph for an aggregate speed of 531 mph.