NHRA officials are investigating the accident, which occurred an instant after Niver won a race by posting an estimated speed of 271 mph. Niver was a competitor in the Top Alcohol dragster class, a feeder circuit for the Full Throttle Drag Racing series.
Niver is the second driver to die in a month at an NHRA event. Neal Parker died after his car crashed at the NHRA SuperNationals in New Jersey last month.
Chris Demke, later announced as the winner of the Seattle event, told the Seattle Times, "We hope his last memory was seeing his win light." Niver was 60 years old, and is survived by children and grandchildren. Our condolences to his family and fans, and we hope the NHRA is able to determine a cause of the parachute failure.