Professional racer and television personality Jessi Combs was killed Tuesday afternoon when her jet-powered land speed car crashed in the Alvord desert in Southeastern Oregon. She was 39.
Combs, who earned the title of “The fastest woman on four wheels” after previously setting the four-wheeled woman’s land speed record at the same site in 2013, was attempting to break her previous record on the dry lake bed when the accident happened.
Combs had previously recorded a 483.227 mph shakedown run at Alvord last year before the session was abandoned due to mechanical issues.
Though the Harney County Sheriff’s office did not immediately release the identity of the victim, Combs’s partner and teammate Terry Madden confirmed her passing on Instagram Wednesday morning.
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So I don’t know how to say any of this but it all needs said. I have never loved or been loved by anyone as much as this amazing woman @thejessicombs she was truly my unicorn and I enjoyed every single minute that I had with her. She was the most amazing spirit that I have ever or will ever know. Unfortunately we lost her yesterday in a horrific accident, I was the first one there and trust me we did everything humanly possible to save her!! I’m not ok, but she is right here keeping my going-I made her a promise that if this didn’t go well that I would make sure and do good with it, please help me with that, you are all going to see things on news please believe non of them.. we the family have drafted a release and it will come out today with more proper info, but I was just woke up by the media tracking me down and I need everyone of her true friends to do what she would want “take a deep breath, relax” and do good things with this. Please donate to nothing, I know there will be people try, we are finishing the documentary as she wished and the world will know the truth and her foundation will use those funds to do amazing things in this world and make her legacy live on properly. In the coming days her family and I will get the proper channels put together that you can then donate to that foundation but until you hear it from me wait please-I don’t want some asshole profiting off this (all ready had one try to sell us a video)… . . Love you all and thank you all for being such amazing friends to her, she dedicated her life to helping support others dreams and I promise I will continue that. #doitforjessi #myjessi
“I have never loved or been loved by anyone as much as this amazing woman @thejessicombs she was truly my unicorn and I enjoyed every single minute that I had with her,” Madden wrote. “She was the most amazing spirit that I have ever or will ever know.”
In addition to several successful land-speed record attempts, Combs was also known by fans from her appearances on several T.V. shows, including Overhaulin, All Girls Garage, and Xtreme 4×4. She also served as a host of Mythbusters.
Former Mythbusters host Kari Byron tweeted her condolences Wednesday morning.
“So sad to hear about Jessi. She was a badass. Always pushing limits. Sending smiles into the universe for her,” Bryon said.
A celebration of Combs’ life, as well as a foundation in her honor to “continue her efforts to empower young women and girls to follow their dreams” have both planned, according to a statement released by Combs’ family, though dates for neither have been released as of publication.