In an attempt to set a new land speed record on Tuesday (27 August 2019), the 'fastest woman on four wheels', Jessi Combs, tragically passed away after her jet-car crashed.
Arguably best known for television appearances on shows including Overhaulin’, Xtreme 4x4, Mythbusters, and All Girls Garage, the TV personality crashed during a high-speed run in Oregon, USA. She died at just 36 years old.
Combs wasn't simply a TV star, she was an accomplished racing driver and a skilled fabricator too, graduating from WyoTech at the top of her class. She excelled at collision repair, street rod fabrication, and performance applications, Jessi was a lover of all things automotive.
Details of the incident are slim, however, what is clear is that the land speed record attempt on August 27 was being held at the Alvord Desert, a dry lakebed located in southeast Oregon. According to Entertainment Tonight, at approximately 4pm on Tuesday, an emergency call came through to the Harney County Sherrif's Office. A press release stated that "a jet car attempting to break a land speed record on the Alvord Desert had crashed, leading to one fatality". Jessi was pronounced dead at the scene.
Terry Madden, a member of her racing team confirmed the tragedy in an Instagram post:
View this post on Instagram
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.
Jessi was a source of inspiration for women and girls in the automotive industry, an extremely male-dominated area. At the time of her death, she was attempting to beat the 512mph record set by Kitty O'Neil in 1976. Her previous official record was 398mph, set in 2013. Another attempt in 2018 saw her reach 483mph, but she was unable to complete another run and could not make it official.
We offer our condolences to her family, friends, and fans around the world.
(Note: Jessi was born in 1983, not 1980 as stated in the video below.)