Mythbusters’ Jessi Combs killed trying to break speed record

Jessi Combs, who hosted the Discovery Channel’sMythbusters and was known as the “fastest woman on four wheels”, has been killed.

Combs, a professional driver for films and advertisments, died when she crashed in the Alvord Desert in Oregon while trying to break a speed record, local authorities said Wednesday (local time).

Combs, 39, died while racing in a dry lake bed in a desert in remote Harney County, Sheriff’s Lieutenant Brian Needham said in a statement. The cause is under investigation.

Combs became the fastest woman on four wheels at the North American Eagle Supersonic Speed Challenger, when she set a record of 398 mph (641 kmh), in 2013.

Terry Madden, Combs’ teammate on the North American Eagle racing team, said in an Instagram post that he was heartbroken and added a video collage of photos and video clips of Combs with various team members.

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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.

A post shared by Terry L. Madden (@terry_madden) on

“She was the most amazing spirit that I have ever or will ever know,” Madden wrote. “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!!”

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So I’m usually not one for public feelings and never posted one of these #wcw, but this girl @thejessicombs has changed my life and is hands down the best friend I could have ever asked for, whether we end up together forever or just best friends forever – I know that we will sit on the porch when old and tell #rockingchairstories about this rad life… I have a lot of demons I have had for a lot of years and never faced…. with her insanely amazing support and patients, the help of my family @warriorbuilt232 and some amazing friends, the headnoise I have fought for so long is subsiding and I’m finally being able to live the life that I’ve earned… . . . #thankful #warriorbuilt #vet #boxer #realdeal #bestfriend

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Combs was widely known in the niche sport of jet-car racing and was attempting to break the Women’s Land Speed Record of 512 mph (823 kph) set in 1976 by Kitty O’Neil when she died. Jet cars are race cars propelled by jet engines.

In an Instagram post on Sunday, Combs indicated that she hoped to break O’Neil’s record in the Oregon desert.

“People say I’m crazy. I say, ‘thank you.’” she wrote.

Combs’ life was full of firsts, CNN reported. The first woman to place at any Ultra4 event; the first woman to compete in The Race of Gentlemen event. Her dedication to women’s empowerment in the automotive industry was also significant. She has a line of women’s welding gear with Lincoln Electric, as well as an online collaborative dedicated to empowering and educating women through industrial skills, called the RealDeal.

Combs, who appeared in multiple episodes of Mythbusters, hosted the show when Kari Byron was on maternity leave. Combs also hosted TV shows All Girls Garage and Overhaulin’.

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