Land Speed Racer Memorial


John Beckett

Born:  May 9, 1948

Died:  August 14, 2005

Buried:  Atlantic View Cemetery, Manasquan, New Jersey

Age:  57

Full Name:  John William Beckett, III


Location:  Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah

Event:  Speed Week

Accident Date:  August 14, 2005

Vehicle:  1930s Crosley C/Gas Competition Coupe

Biographical:  He lost control of the race car at more than 200 MPH near the five-mile mark.  The day before the fatal crash, he had been timed at  227.593 MPH.  He lived in Loris, South Carolina.  He was a former president of the East Coast Timing Association and a veteran racer.  He became a member of the 200-MPH Club in 1992.  He was survived by a daughter and son.


"Racers look to cap speed records at Flats," Salt Lake Tribune, August 17, 2005

"Crash kills driver at Salt Flats," Salt Lake Tribune, August 17, 2005

"Obituaries," Fayetteville Observer, August 22, 2005

Motorsports Memorial website (  (accessed 5/22/10)

Social Security Death Index  (John W. Beckett, born May 9, 1948, died August 14, 2005, SS# issued in New Jersey)

Find a Grave website 

Photos  (accessed 5/22/10)



Jessi Combs

Born:  July 27, 1980

Died:  August 27, 2019


Age: 39

Full Name: Jessica Combs


Location: Alvord Desert, Oregon


Accident Date:  August 27, 2019

Vehicle:  North American Eagle jet-engined land speed vehicle

Biographical:  She was a television personality on several car-centric shows including "MythBusters" and "Overhaulin'." She was the lead driver for the North American Eagle team and had been in a quest to become the fastest woman on earth since 2012. The group's stated quest was attempting to break the land speed record of 763 mph set in 1997 at the Black Rock Desert in Nevada. The best speed the car had recorded up to the time of the crash was 515 mph.


ABC News report


"Jessi Combs, 'Fastest woman on 4 wheels,' killed attempting speed record in SE Oregon," Oregonian, Aug. 28, 2019.



Barry Bryant

Born:  April 23, 1963

Died:  August 9, 2009

Buried: Lawncrest Memorial Park, Redding, California

Age:  46

Full Name:  


Location:  Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah

Event:  Speed Week

Accident Date:  August 9, 2009

Vehicle:  "Tom Thumb Special VII" #216 D/Competition Coupe

Biographical:  He crashed at over 200 MPH while passing the five-mile marker.  It rolled many times before finally coming to a stop.  Emergency crews rushed to cut away the metal to free the injured driver.  He was rushed to Intermountain Medical Center in Salt Lake City, but died before arriving.  The car was capable of speeds in excess of 228 MPH.  He lived in Anderson, California.



"Rollover kills racer at the salt flats," Deseret News, August 11, 2009

Social Security Death Index   (Barry Bryant, born April 23, 1963, died August 9, 2009 in Utah, SS# issued in Calif. In 1977)

U.S. Obituary Collection  (Barry Bryant, 46, of Anderson died Sunday in a race car crash in Utah. Arrangements are pending at Lawncrest Chapel in Redding, published in Redding Record Searchlight on Aug. 12, 2009)

U.S. Obituary Collection  (Barry Bryant, On Sunday, August 9, 2009;
Barry was taken to his heavenly home while doing something he loved: racing at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. Barry was born in Whittier, CA and moved to Redding with his family in 1968. Barry worked in the family automotive business and was co-owner of Bryant Automotive, which his parents started when they first moved to Redding. Barry is survived by his wife Loretta of 18 years, daughters Hillary and Melanie and parents Tom and Margaret. Also mourning his loss are brothers and sister-in-laws Jeff and Debbie, Dan and Shirley and sister Sandy as well as numerous nieces, nephews, family and friends. Barry was an avid gold mining enthusiast, hiker, self-educated "rock hound", active Boy Scout leader, artist, photographer, land speed racer, and an example to all who knew him as a good and faithful servant of Christ. His many talents and passion for life, blessed Barry's family and friends with wonderful memories and he will be deeply missed.  Published in My Red Bluffs, Aug. 13, 2009)

Photos  (accessed 5/13/10)  (accessed 5/13/10)


 Barry Bryant (3rd from left) with members of his family



Jerry Deneau

Born:  December 9, 1939

Died:  June 3, 2012


Age: 72

Full Name:  Gerald Hubert Deneau


Location: Airborne Park, Wilmington, Ohio

Event:  East Coast Timing Association "Ohio Mile"

Accident Date:  June 3, 2012

Vehicle:  2000 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-12R motorcycle

Biographical: He went through the traps at 175 MPH and failed to stop in shutdown.


Fatalities in LSR, SuzukiHayabusa Forum




Tony Foster

Born: November 1, 1950

Died:  May 7, 2014


Age:  63

Full Name:  Anthony Foster


Location:  Elvington Airfield, near York, England

Event:  Auto Cycle Union Straightliners Top Speed

Accident Date:  April 22, 2014

Vehicle:  Suzuki GSXR 300 Hayabusa

Biographical:  He was transported to Leeds General Hospital after his accident. He passed away in his sleep at the hospital from the effects of his injuries a couple of weeks after the accident. His funeral was held on May 23, 2014.


eman, email communication to site administrator, Dec. 5, 2018


"Racing granddad, Leeds businessman died after high speed bike crash," Yorkshire Evening Post, Apr. 9, 2015




Cliff Gullett

Born:  February 18, 1961

Died:  September 3, 2008

Buried:  Sunset Hills Cemetery, Bozeman, Montana

Age:  47

Full Name:  Cliff W. Gullett


Location:  Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah

Event:  BUB Speed Trials

Accident Date:  September 3, 2008

Vehicle:  Bullett-Costella-Gullett Racing 500cc Nebulous Theorem VII 2-stroke motorcycle streamliner

Biographical:  He was making his return run record attempt and had gone through the timing lights at over 237 MPH when he lost control of the vehicle.  Witnesses reported that he suddenly veered sideways and began to tumble.  It is not certain what caused the accident.  He was from Bozeman, Montana.  He was survived by his wife, Leanne, a son, Casey, and daughter, Nicole.



"Motorcyclist killed in Salt Flats crash," Deseret News, September 3, 2008  (accessed 5/9/10)

Photos  (accessed 5/9/10)  (accessed 5/9/10)

Find a Grave website (

Johan Jacobs


Died:  June 27, 2006


Age:  39

Full Name:  


Location:  Verneuk pan, near Upington, Northern Cape Province, South Africa


Accident Date:  June 27, 2006

Vehicle:  Castrol Edge jet dragster

Biographical:  He was making a first practice run in the Kalahari desert prior to attempting to set a new world standing start mile record the next day.  His vehicle veered off the course at an estimated 310 MPH and rolled several times.  He was killed instantly.  He held the South African land speed record and was a former jet fighter pilot.  He was from Pretoria and was survived by his wife, Rhoda, and two young children.  


"South African land speed record ends in tragedy," SpeedRecord S.A., July 13, 2006  (

"World speed attempt ends in tragedy," Independent Online, June 28, 2006

"Speed king dies in 500 km/h crash," Daily News, June 28, 2006  (


"South African land speed record ends in tragedy," SpeedRecord S.A., July 13, 2006  (

"SA's fastest killed in speed record practice," IOL, June 28, 2006

"SA's land speed record tumbles," IOL, March 23, 2006





Guy Lombardi

Born:  January 28, 1942

Died:  October 24, 2009

Buried:  cremated, ashes possibly scattered at Bonneville Salt Flats

Age: 67

Full Name:  Gaetano Robert Lombardi


Location:  Maxton Air Base, Laurinburg, North Carolina

Event:  East Coast Timing Association "Maxton Mile"

Accident Date:  October 24, 2009

Vehicle:  Suzuki GSX1300R Hayabusa motorcycle

Biographical:  He crashed in the shutdown area after turning 191.99 MPH.


Fatalities in LSR,

eman, email communication to site administrator, Dec. 5, 2018

"Lombardi was one fast and crazy Guy," Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Nov. 3, 2009


Jerry Lyons

Born:  December 22, 1953

Died:   October 30, 2012

Buried:  Farquhar Cemetery, Carlyss, Louisiana

Age:  58

Full Name:  Jerry Wayne Lyons


Location:  Chase Field Industrial Complex, Beeville, Texas

Event:  Texas Mile

Accident Date:  October 27, 2012

Vehicle: 2006 Harley Davidson V-Rod motorcycle

Biographical:  He crashed after clocking about 135 MPH, passing away a few days later in Corpus Christi.



Fatalities in LSR,




Dave Owen


Died:   September 27, 2008

Buried: Mayflower Hill Cemetery, Taunton, Massachusetts

Age: 48

Full Name: David C. Owen

Nickname: DaveO

Location: Maxton Air Base, Laurinburg, North Carolina

Event:  East Coast Timing Association "Maxton Mile"

Accident Date:  September 27, 2008

Vehicle: motorcycle

Biographical: After clocking a run of 215.9 MPH, he crashed in the shutdown area. He lived in North Dighton, Massachusetts, and was survived by two sons.

 Sources, Sep. 28, 2008

Darrin Cronan, email communication with site administrator, May 28, 2017



Tim Partridge

Born:  November 11, 1957

Died:  April 14, 2018

Buried:  Holy Cross Cemetery, Dansville, New York

Age: 60

Full Name:  Timothy Scott Partridge


Location: Mojave Air and Space Port, California

Event:   Mojave Magnum

Accident Date:  April 14, 2018

Vehicle: Kawasaki Ninja H2

Biographical:    He was trying to go 210 MPH on his motorcycle when he crashed into a fence. He was from Draper, Utah.


eman, email communication to site administrator, Dec. 5, 2018

"Draper man killed in motorcycle racing even while attempting to hit 210mph,", Apr. 17, 2018

"Utah man killed in Mojave racing event was trying to hit 210 mph, sheriff's officials say," Bakersfield Californian, Apr. 16, 2018





Bill Warner

Born:  February 11, 1969

Died: July 14, 2013

Buried:  St. Mary's Cemetery, Herkimer, New York

Age: 44

Full Name:  William W. Warner


Location: Loring Air Force Base, Maine

Event:   East Coast Timing Association "The Maine Event"

Accident Date:  July 14, 2013

Vehicle: Suzuki Hayabusa


Biographical:    He was trying to go 300 MPH using just a mile course on the former Strategic Air Command Loring Air Force Base (closed in 1994). He was attempting to do this at the annual speed event sponsored by the Loring Timing Association.  He had made several attempts earlier in the day and had been timed at 285 MPH on his fatal try. He began veering right after passing the mile mark, traveled an additional 2,000 feet before leaving the paved runway and crashing.  He was transported to Cary Medical Center in Caribou, Maine, where he died.  He lived in Wimauma, Florida, where he owned a tropical fish farm. He was survived by his mother, brother, and a sister.


"Wimauma motorcycle speed record-setter dies at 285 mph," Tampa Bay Times, Aug. 11, 2013.

"Obituary," Little Falls Times, July 18, 2013.







Sam Wheeler

Born: 1943

Died:  July 25, 2016


Age:  73

Full Name: 


Location:  Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah

Event:  Mike Cook's Bonneville Shootout

Accident Date:  July 25, 2016

Vehicle:  motorcycle streamliner

Biographical:  He was making a test run at about 200 MPH when he fishtailed, went airborne, and crashed. He was extracted from the vehicle and transported to Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, where he died about four hours after the accident. He was from Arcadia, California, and was survived by his wife, Carol, and two children.



"Land speed racer Wheeler dies at Salt Flats," Salt Lake Tribune, July 28, 2016.





Nolan White

Born:  February 26, 1931

Died:  October 20, 2002


Age:  71

Full Name:  Nolan Ray White


Location:  Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah

Event:  Speed Week

Accident Date:  October 17, 2002

Vehicle:  streamliner

Biographical:  He had just passed through the measured mile at 422 MPH on the first of two required runs on Thursday when the harness securing his parachutes broke as it was released at the end of his run.  He was going about 350 MPH and headed for the Interstate highway.  He tried to steer the vehicle away from the highway, but hit a soft spot and rolled the car.  White was holder of the land speed record for piston-driven cars at 413.156 MPH.  He was from San Diego, California.  He died from his injuries on Sunday.


"Speed record holder Nolan White dies," AP Online, October 22, 2002

"Nolan White, world speed record holder, dies at 71," Deseret News, October 21, 2002

"Miscellany," Spokane Spokesman-Review, October 22, 2002

Social Security Death Index   (Nolan R. White, born February 26, 1931, died October 20, 2002, SS# issued in Texas before 1951, last residence was Del Mar, Calif.)

Texas Birth Index  (Nolen Ray White, born February 26, 1931, in Bell Co., Texas, son of Harlan and Etoy Jackson White)

Photos  (accessed 5/9/10)  (accessed 5/9/10)

"LandSpeed" Louise Ann Noeth, e-mail communication to site administrator, June 23, 2010


Courtesy of LandSpeed Louise Photography and Graphic Design commissioned by the White family.



Name/Year of Accident

Arnett, Sonny (1995)

Barsanti, Roberto (1921)

Beckett, John (2005)

Bennett, Charles (1964)

Bible, Lee (1929)

Bigelow, Ken (1951)

Black, Noel (1970)

Bryant, Barry (2009)

Buckmaster, Jim (1972)

Cass, Wayne (1948)

Combs, Jessi (2019)

Dean, Pete (1984)

Deneau, Gerald (2012)

Donaldson, John (1955)

Emick, "Geezer" (1969)

Fadave, Robert (1949)

Fancher, Floyd (1949)

Fernihough, Eric (1938)

Foster, Tony (2014)

Funk, Robert (1962)

Glover, Tom (1948)

Graham, Athol (1960)

Gullett, Cliff (2008)

Haller, Harvey (1953)

Herda, Bob (1969)

Jacobs, Johan (2006)

Johnson, Jim (1957)

Johnston, Bruce (1998)

Leasher, Glenn (1962)

Lockhart, Frank (1928)

Lombardi, Guy (2009)

Lubinsky, Larry (1969)

Lyons, Jerry (2012)

McGregor, Rulon (1949)

Magi, Renato (1951)

Meo, Vaifro (1984)

Owen, Dave (2008)

Parry-Thomas, J. G. (1927)

Partridge, Tim (2018)

Pendleton, Jackson (1949)

Robinson, Bob (1950)

Rosemeyer, Bernd (1938)

Schlegel, Nicholas (1947)

Somariba, Janos (1933)

Sproul, Charles (1955)

Stewart, Jack (1968)

Warner, Bill (2013)

Watts, Tommy (1980)

Werder, Wilbert (1949)

Wheeler, Sam (2016)

White, Nolan (2002)

Williams, Elwyn (1954)

Windman, Nathan (1934)

Wynja, Cornelius (1951)