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Jessi Combs interview screenshot 2018

It was nearly a year ago that we learned the tragic news that Mythbusters’ Jessi Combs had died in a tragic accident at the young age of 39. The former TV star had been trying for a speed record at the time, hoping to break the female land-speed record in a jet-powered car. Now, her partner Terry Madden, has responded to the news Combs’ did, in fact, achieve her goal with a thoughtful post.

The journey to Jessi Combs achieving her land-speed record was a tough one. According to Terry Madden, while he’s touched her foray into the desert wasn’t for naught and is touched by her record, his feelings are honestly still really complicated regarding what happened.

I really don’t know how I feel about this at all as no record could ever be worth her not being here, but it was a goal that she really wanted - and as hard as it is for me to even look at the car without crying. I’m so proud of her.

He went on to talk a little more in depth about the day Jessi Combs achieved her record – the day she also died. Apparently, there were “a few things that were bothering” them in regards to the safety of her pursuit, but she ultimately decided to move forward. He also said, Jessi Combs had decided the race that won her the record would be her last, whether or not she had achieved her goal. He noted:

It has torn me apart that all I had to do is say let’s go and we would have left before that run, she asked my opinion and I told her Togo for it if it was what she wanted. That conversation has torn me apart everyday since the accident. On her final record run- the front wheel assembly failed and as she decelerated just past the end of the run, it came apart and went up into the electronics/mechanical bay behind her seat and caused the accident.

Ultimately, Jessi Combs ended up clocking in at 522.783, becoming the first to break the record in over 40 years, according to the Guinness World Records. In 1976, Kitty O’Neil had set the record with 512.7. You can see Terry Madden’s full post below.

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#rememberthetime I was woke up Monday by a reporter from the London Times telling me that @guinnessworldrecords would be releasing today that @thejessicombs had officially broke her world landspeed record. I really don’t know how I feel about this at all as no record could ever be worth her not being here, but it was a goal that she really wanted - and as hard as it is for me to even look at the car without crying. I’m so proud of her. She woke up that morning to an alarm saying “lets make history” and we had an absolutely amazing day. On the morning run she broke her previous top speeds and we went back to the trailer and had a long heart to heart - she had a few things that were bothering us safety wise and I told her I would support her no matter what she decided to do. That afternoon we booked a house in Lake Tahoe for the next night, and she decided she was going to run that one last afternoon run to back up her record and then walk away from it for good and let her back up driver go for the overall world record instead of her. That was to be the last time she ever got in that car. It has torn me apart that all I had todo is say let’s go and we would have left before that run, she asked my opinion and I told her Togo for it if it was what she wanted. That conversation has torn me apart everyday since the accident. . On her final record run- the front wheel assembly failed and as she decelerated just past the end of the run, it came apart and went up into the electronics/mechanical bay behind her seat and caused the accident. There was nothing that she could do and she did everything perfect. I don’t know that this is anyone’s business and it has been hard for me to talk about, but I have been asked about several false narratives lately that she had done something wrong and I can’t live with anyone saying that anymore. I was in the safety vehicle beside her as she was slowing down when the accident happened, I watched the accident live as well as the onboard footage that was recovered. I can 100% tell you beyond any doubt that she did everything exactly as she was supposed to. . #missyababe #myjessi #landspeed #jessicombs #worldrecord #guinness

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In the time since Jessi Combs’ death last August, Terry Madden has shared a lot of the memories he and Jessi Combs embarked upon before her tragic accident. This includes Jessi’s love for an old bus they bought together and travelled in, the amusing way they would do yard work together and more.

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#REMEMBERTHETIME . . Apparently March is #womanshistorymonth and I have been tagged in several posts today highlighting Jessi’s accomplishments. I couldn’t be more proud of her and her determination, most days it was determination - some it was just Plain and Simple HARD Headed and Stubborn. . What I’ve been thinking about all day is that you can’t put a name or a date or an event on her true accomplishment or the reason that she has made history. Yeah the records, the wins, the races, all history, but it’s the things that she accomplished that were and are so much bigger than she ever imagined. To see the way she touched the world and paved a path for women, and men, young and old to be encouraged by and follow is the true accomplishment in my mind! She was human and she had moments of defeat, she had bad days just like the rest of us, but she made them “moments” never let them define her and never lost sight of the “possibilities”. (I struggle every day to live by this, and not let this define me). . . This is the alarm we woke up to the morning of her last run! Today is the first day I have been able to make myself look at the pictures from that day. We had such an amazing morning - and a great afternoon between runs! She was just getting started! She had so many larger than life plans that were going to change the world, her goals and dreams of revolutionizing the skilled trades, the roles that women play in them, and to make people be able to be PROUD to get dirty and work with there hands were happening. This I believe is her true moment of History because not only were they happening but now they ARE happening - the group of people that she inspired and the revolution that she dreamed of is here and is growing. It is so amazing to watch all of the things going forward in her name and with her spirit! Thank You to all of the amazing Women and Men, Makers that are helping all these dreams happen even in her Absence. . . #alwaystakethehirôad . #jessicombs #hardworkworks #makehistory #weld #gopreppared #life #love #family #missyababe #determined #powerfulwome

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Combs not only left behind a speed record, but also a fanbase who knew her from her memorable TV career. But it was Madden who is still keeping Combs in our minds and hearts a year later. Ultimately, he was very proud of her and while there are undoubtedly complicated feelings about her Guinness World Record, but it will hopefully become one more thing he will be able to remember about Jessi Combs, who died pursuing greatness. Her name will always be in the record books, but it certainly came at a cost.

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