Jessi Combs, professional race car driver, metal fabricator and television personality, died Tuesday while attempting to break her own land speed record in the Alvord Desert in Oregon. She was 39.
Combs, dubbed the “fastest woman on four wheels,” was driving a 52,000-horsepower jet-powered car when the vehicle crashed, according to auto news site Jalopnik.
She was perhaps best known as a television personality, appearing on “All Girls Garage,” “Overhaulin'” and “Extreme 4×4” and as a co-host of “MythBusters.”
“It is with extreme grief, and in celebration of her life that her family and close friends share that race car driver, and TV personality Jessi Combs, passed away in a fatal crash, where she was pursuing a land speed record in the North American Eagle on August, 27th 2019 on a dry lake bed in Oregon,” her family said in a statement, per Jalopnik.
The statement did not include any specific details on the crash.
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It may seem a little crazy to walk directly into the line of fire… those who are willing, are those who achieve great things. . . People say I’m crazy. I say thank you 😉 . . . #fastestwomanonearth #almost #fasterthanfast #jetcar #afterburner #landpseed @landspeed763 #iwillgofaster #gottabreak512 #aimingfor619 #currentlyat483 #northamericaneagle #i❤️afterburners
“Jessi was known for her bright smile, positivity, and tenacious pursuit of the fulfillment of her dreams. Her drive was infectious, and she served as a role model for young Girls, and Women around the world,” the family’s statement continued.
“People that loved her and followed her became family, all bonded together by adventure and passion,” it said. “Her fans adored her, and she lived to inspire them.
“Jessi’s most notable dream was to become the fastest woman on Earth, a dream she had been chasing since 2012. Combs was one of the rare dreamers with the bravery to turn those possibilities into reality, and she left this earth driving faster than any other woman in history.”
Terry Madden, one of Combs’ team members, expressed his sorrow over her death, writing on Instagram, “She was the most amazing spirit that I have ever or will ever know.”
Madden disclosed that he was present at the time of Combs’ crash and said the crew did “everything humanly possible to save her.”
Adam Savage, former co-host of “MythBusters,” spoke highly of Combs’ talent and intelligence.
“She was a brilliant & top-notch builder, engineer, driver, fabricator, and science communicator, & strove everyday to encourage others by her prodigious example,” Savage told KTVZ-TV.
According to Combs’ family, a foundation will be created in Jessi’s honor, focusing on empowering women and young girls in the automotive industry.
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