'Mythbusters' star, Jessi Combs, dies attempting to break land-speed record
Jessi Combs, a professional racer and Mythbusters star, died on Tuesday at the age of 36.
As reported by People, the Harney County Sheriff’s Office stated that they received a call around 4:00 pm on Tuesday informing them of a crash involving a jet car in the Alvord Desert, southeastern Oregon.
When deputies arrived, Combs was identified and pronounced dead at the scene. The cause of the crash is still unknown, and she was the sole fatality in the incident.
Combs - known as "the fastest woman on four wheels" - had been attempting to break the women's land-speed record of 512 mph, set in 1976 by American Kitty O'Neil. Combs had claimed the women’s 4-wheel land speed record back in 2013, with a top speed of 440.709 mph. Then, in 2016, she set a new top speed record of 477.59 mph.
Combs' team member, Terry Madden, shared the devastating news with his Instagram followers on Wednesday with a touching video montage.
Madded captioned the video:
"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. [...]
"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. [...]
"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."
Early on in her career, Combs was co-host on the Spike TV series XTreme 4×4. After five years on the show, Combs would go on to replace Kari Byron (who was on maternity leave) for the seventh season of Mythbusters in 2009. Combs appeared in 12 episodes of the show in total.
Kari Byron shared the following message with her Twitter fans following the news of Combs' passing:
"So sad to hear about Jessi. She was a badass. Always pushing limits. Sending smiles into the universe for her."
Former Mythbusters host Adam Savage also tweeted out his response to the news:
Sharing his grief on Twitter, Savage wrote:
"I’m so so sad, Jessi Combs has been killed in a crash. She was a brilliant & too-notch builder, engineer, driver, fabricator, and science communicator, & strove everyday to encourage others by her prodigious example. She was also a colleague, and we are lesser for her absence.
"My heart goes out to her family."
Tory Belleci, another former Mythbusters star, shared a heartfelt post on Instagram, along with two pictures of his time spent with Combs on the show:
He accompanied the pictures with the message: "Absolutely gutted to hear the news of @thejessicombs You’re a legend Jessi and I will miss you my friend."
Former Mythbusters star Grant Imahara also shared his thoughts on Twitter:
"So sorry to hear about Jessi. She was a talented builder and host, and above all, a go-getter", he wrote.
Prior to attempting to break the land-speed record, Combs shared an Instagram post with her 213,000 followers, that said: "It may seem a little crazy to walk directly into the line of fire... those who are willing, are those who achieve great things. [...] People say I’m crazy. I say thank you".