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Professional racer Jessi Combs died in Oregon on Tuesday, August 27 after attempting to break her own land speed record. She was known to TV viewers for joining Mythbusters' Build Team in 2009, and also from many TV appearances on Xtreme 4x4, Overhaulin', and more. In addition to racing, she was a metal fabricator, builder, engineer, science educator, and "the fastest woman on four wheels." She was 39.
Jessi Combs’ team member, Terry Madden, confirmed her death, including a tribute video:
As Terry Madden noted in his Instagram post, he was the first one to find her after the crash:
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 Jessi Combs. 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!!
He said he's not OK, and told fans if they saw anything about what happened to not believe it until the family shares a release later today on Wednesday, August 28.
... 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.
According to Road and Track, Jessi Combs held the title of "fastest woman on four wheels" after setting a record of 398 mph in in 2013, racing her jet-powered North American Eagle Supersonic Speed Challenger. In 2018, she took the same car to 483.227 mph, although that run ended with mechanical troubles and didn't qualify for a new title.
The crash happened Tuesday afternoon Alvord Desert in southeast Oregon. According to local KTVZ news, the sheriff’s office and Bureau of Land Management are investigating the incident. Stay tuned for more updates as they come in.