Jessi Combs' car failed to properly stop, causing the car to travel beyond the safety of the river bed and violently crash ... according to people familiar with details of the accident.
Sources close to the situation tell The Blast, Combs' vehicle was traveling at a very high rate of speed and the car failed to stop at the end of the run.
We're told the vehicle is equipped with several safety mechanisms to help with descending speed so the car can come to an eventual stop, but it's clear something went wrong.
We're told because the car didn't slow down, the accident was "equivalent to an airplane crash."
Our source also took umbrage with the specific vehicle that Combs was piloting, the North American Eagle, as it is not equipped with a roll cage that would normally serve as another safety measure for the driver in a violent crash.
The North American Eagle is a 52,000-horsepower, 56-foot-long race car which has been customized from the body of a F-104 jet.
According to the vehicle description, the car was an idea,
"to take a jet fighter, and turn it into the fastest racing machine in history. When all of this started, it really was nothing more than a few guys in a garage, scraping paint and shaping sheets of metal. Every step of putting the vehicle together has made the dream just a little more real. Now we move onto the ultimate goal of going supersonic".
Interestingly, we are told several people pleaded with Combs not to go through with the land speed world record attempt based on some safety issues.
Our source said the attempt itself was an independent project and not sanctioned by Land Speed racing, and that Jessi attempted the stunt "at her own risk."
At this point, the official cause of the accident is under investigation by the Harney County Sheriff’s Office, and they tell us they are currently gathering details surrounding the accident.
Jessi Combs, died Tuesday at the age of 36 after she crashed in Oregon while trying to set a new land speed world record. The crash occurred in a dry lakebed out in the Alvord Desert, the same place Combs set a record back in 2013.