August 28th 2019
Jessi Combs Dies At 36 In Crash During Land Speed Record Attempt
Jessi Combs died Tuesday from injuries sustained in a crash while attempting a land speed record in a jet-powered car in Oregon. She was 36.
Nicknamed the “fastest woman on four wheels,” Combs broke a 48-year-old mark when she reached 393 miles per hour in her North American Eagle Supersonic Speed Challenger. She set another record in 2016 when she drove nearly 478 mph, her fastest speed, in the same desert where her life ended.
Combs had attempted to beat her own speed before. In a September Instagram post, Combs said she reached a new top speed of 483 mph. “Unfortunately a piece of debris was sucked into the turbine intake. There is minimal damage, though game over for now," she captioned a picture of herself smiling in aviator glasses. “Looking forwards to the next attempt of ludicrous speed.”
Tuesday’s attempt resulted in a 911 call to the Harney County Sheriff’s Office around 4 p.m., according to KTVZ in Oregon. The sheriff’s office and the Bureau of Land Management are investigating the crash.
Terry Madden, a member of Combs’s crew, wrote in a social media post, “She was the most amazing spirit that I have ever or will ever know.” Madden said he and Combs’s family are working on a documentary that Combs wanted to complete, and that a foundation in her honor will help her legacy live on.
Combs, who described herself as a “stereotype breaker” and a “real deal” across her social platforms, was also an established metal fabricator and welder. She received a degree in custom automotive fabrication from WyoTech and established a line of welding gear for women.
Combs was also known for her time on television, as a guest fabricator on Overhaulin', as a co-host of Xtreme 4x4 and All Girls Garage, among other things.
In one of her last social media posts, Combs is staring at the back of a jet car, overlooking the desert as her team attends to the machine.
“It may seem a little crazy to walk directly into the line of fire,” she wrote. “Those who are willing, are those who achieve great things.”