Authorities have finished the investigation into the death of Jessi Combs and have determined the fatal jet car crash was caused by mechanical failure. Combs was attempting to break the land speed record that she had previously set while driving the jet-powered North American Eagle across the Alvord Desert in Oregon on August 27.
The Harney County Sherriff announced on Monday that an examination of the wreckage led investigators and Combs’ team to determine the crash was caused by the failure of the front wheel of the vehicle, according to Fox News. Authorities speculate that the wheel failure was likely caused by striking an object on the dry lake bed at approximately 550 mph.
The new report also determined the cause of death for the 39-year-old racer and TV personality. Combs died from blunt force trauma to her head before the vehicle caught fire.
The team’s website claims the forged aluminum wheels were designed to hold together and function properly up to speeds of 900 mph. The team has not issued a comment or statement about the report.
She was trying to break her previous record of 392 mph that she set in the same vehicle back in 2013. Before the fatal accident, she completed two runs in opposite directions at an average speed of 531.889 mph, which has been submitted to Guinness World Records for verification in her honor according to reports.
Jessi was honored with a beautiful tribute inside of the Los Angeles Peterson Automotive Museum and it featured some of the great racer’s personal vehicles and attire. The exhibit was open for just over a week and was titled after her nickname, “The Fastest Woman on Four Wheels.” All profits from ticket sales went to The Jessi Combs Foundation.
The foundation was started by Combs’ boyfriend, Terry Madden and the foundation’s website says its mission is to ” educate, inspire and empower the next generation of female trailblazers & stereotype-breakers.”
Madden has continued to eulogize and remember the love of his life. Since her passing, he has shared a tribute post almost every day detailing his fondest memories of the late star. One touching memory was of the couple’s first ride.
“I didn’t have any of my bikes in town, she graciously gave me “Lilly,” he remembered. “Now Lilly is pretty / but fast no / and built for small girl so comfortable for me not one bit. So she takes off blasting thru traffic splitting lanes I’m doing my best but Jessi is one hell of a rider (when on equal equipment never had more fun riding with anyone in my life!!) and ol Lilly just cant keep up. We pull up to a stop light she looks over at me and says “you doin ok?” I said “nope – struggling to keep up” never forget she blew me a kiss from her helmet said “GOOD LUCK” as the light turned green – completely lit her bike up and was gone.”
The romantic story ends with the couple arriving back to the shop in the early AM and Jessi saying what became his favorite quote from her, ““I’m cold! Time for you to warm me up babe!”