The Spectacle Blog

Ryan Dunn and ‘The Grim Reaper’s Company Car’

By on 6.20.11 | 7:47PM

Ryan Dunn became famous -- or perhaps "notorious" is a better word -- for doing outrageous stunts on the 2000-2002 MTV series Jackass, which led to three big-screen movies. Dunn died early Monday morning when he lost control of his Porsche 911 GT3 in West Goshen, Pennsylvania.

Dunn had reportedly been drinking with friends prior to the crash, and was killed along with a yet-to-be-identified passenger when his 2007 Porsche jumped a guard rail, hit a tree and burst into flames. With official understatement, police said "speed may have been a contributing factor to the accident."

While speed almost certainly was a factor -- the GT3's top speed is over 190 mph -- Dunn was driving a car well-known for handling difficulties. The Porsche 911's rear-engine design makes it prone to skidding sideways. "All that weight in the back, swinging around like a big pendulum, ready to punish you the first time you run out of straight road," said Richard Hammond, host of BBC's Top Gear program, who called it "the Grim Reaper's company car."

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