The jet-powered car that crashed and killed TV personality Jessi Combs is being probed for data in its engine and system information computers, Oregon authorities said today.
The data could reveal what happened to cause the fiery crash in Oregon’s Alvord Desert earlier this week that resulted in Combs’s death.
The website TopSpeed.com said the Combs vehicle was “a car only in the loose sense,” saying it was more akin to a Mach 2-capable fighter-jet F-104 Starfighter. “It does have wheels and controls somewhat similar to what you can find in a car, but all the similarities end there,” said TopSpeed. “With 56 feet of length and 7 tons of weight, the North American Eagle features an S&S Turbines GE J-79-11B engine with a 4-line afterburner. In car terms, it generates over 45,500 horsepower in full afterburner mode.”
Combs was attempting to break her own 2013 land speed record of 398 mph when she crashed, with the vehicle bursting into flames. Details on the crash and its aftermath haven’t been released, but Combs’s family said she was surrounded by loved ones when she died.
Combs set the official 2013 land speed record when she hit 398 mph. She became a team member on the North American Eagle Supersonic Speed Challenger team as a driver that same year, and later hit 483 miles per hour in a practice run on the same course in 2016.
She said on Instagram her goal was to break 512 mph.
“It may seem a little crazy to walk directly into the line of fire… those who are willing, are those who achieve great things. People say I’m crazy. I say thank you,” she wrote, adding the hashtags #gottabreak512 #aimingfor619.
Combs hosted TV automotive shows, including Xtreme 4×4, Overhaulin’, Truck U, and Two Guys Garage. She also was a host on Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters.