South Africa's "speed king" dies during record attempt

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Verneukpan, South Africa — South Africa's speed king, Johan Jacobs, was involved in a fatal crash yesterday at a speed of more than 500 km/h. Jacobs (aged 40), who originates from Pretoria, was busy conducting a test run before an attempt at the land-speed record.

His friends and family observed in horror as his jet-powered car, after covering a mere 700 m, flipped over and disintegrated. Paramedics rushed to the scene and tried in vain to revive him.

On October 28, 2005, Jacobs effortlessly improved upon the then current South African land speed record of 288 km/h, raising it to 504,5 km/h (average speed of two runs in both directions.)