NASCAR & Auto Racing

N.J. State Police: Mechanical failure caused Jason Leffler's fatal crash

Early results of the New Jersey State Police’s investigation of the accident which claimed the life of NASCAR driver Jason Leffler confirm mechanical failure as the primary cause.

Leffler was killed on June 12 at a dirt track in New Jersey after his winged sprint car came out of Turn 4 during a heat race and slammed into the wall.

Police told the Observer that night the cause was likely a “malfunction of the car.”

The early findings in the preliminary report, released Friday, said cars in the race were averaging 135 mph and reaching speed upwards of 150 mph on the straightaways.

“As a result of this mechanical failure, Leffler’s front suspension failed and his steering became locked,” the report said.

The report says Leffler’s car turned 180 degrees and made a lateral impact with the wall on the left side. The car then overturned and eventually landed upright. Leffler remained in the vehicle during the accident.

An autopsy performed by the Delaware (Pa.) County medical examiner’s office said Leffler died of blunt force neck injuries.

A funeral for Leffler was held Wednesday in North Carolina. More than 800 people attended including family, friends and fellow drivers.

The final report by state police investigators is not complete.

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