Jessi Combs, a professional racer and TV personality known for breaking land-speed records, died after a car crash Tuesday (Aug. 27) while attempting to go 500 mph to break a land-speed record. She was 36 years old.
KTVZ reports that the Harney County Sheriff’s Office was called to the scene of the crash around 4 p.m. Tuesday.
Details about the crash haven’t been released, however, authorities are reportedly investigating.
Combs—affectionally referred to as “the fastest woman on four wheels”—was reportedly trying to beat her own land speed record when she was tragically killed in a jet-powered car in Oregon.
Her previous record, set in 2016, was 478 miles per hour in the same desert where Tuesday’s crash happened.
She earned her nickname in 2013 after she broke a record held by Lee Breedlove since 1965 by reaching 398 miles per hour.
Jessi was also known as a TV personality who made notable appearances on shows like Mythbusters and Overhaulin’.
Just a few days ago, Combs shared a photo on social media as she prepared for this most recent speed record attempt.
View this post on Instagram
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 😉 . . . #fastestwomanonearth #almost #fasterthanfast #jetcar #afterburner #landpseed @landspeed763 #iwillgofaster #gottabreak512 #aimingfor619 #currentlyat483 #northamericaneagle #i❤️afterburners
“It may seem a little crazy to walk directly into the line of fire… those who are willing, are those who achieve great things,” she wrote. “People say I’m crazy. I say thank you ;)”
Terry Madden, a member of Comb’s crew, confirmed her death via Instagram Wednesday morning (Aug. 28), calling Jessi “the most amazing spirit that I have ever or will ever know.”
He added that he was the first one on the scene of her “horrific accident” and said everything “humanly possible” was done to save her.
View this post on Instagram
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. #doitforjessi #myjessi
Three weeks prior to Combs’ tragic passing, Madden wrote a beautiful message to her on his Instagram page. He said that Combs had “changed his life” and was “hands down the best friend I could have ever asked for.”
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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 #myjessi #doitforjessi
Jessi’s last IG post, shared on August 25th, two days before she died, reads: “I just want to thank all of you for your support and loyalty. That’s all. Have a nice day :)”
Jessi Combs’ family released the following statement (via Jalopnik):
It is with extreme grief, and in celebration of her life that her family and close friends share that race car driver, and TV personality Jessi Combs, passed away in a fatal crash, where she was pursuing a land speed record in the North American Eagle on August, 27th 2019 on a dry lake bed in Oregon. The details of the crash have not been released at this time.
Jessi was known for her bright smile, positivity, and tenacious pursuit of the fulfillment of her dreams. Her drive was infectious, and she served as a role model for young Girls, and Women around the world. People that loved her and followed her became family, all bonded together by adventure and passion.
Her fans adored her, and she lived to inspire them. Jessi’s most notable dream was to become the fastest woman on Earth, a dream she had been chasing since 2012. Combs was one of the rare dreamers with the bravery to turn those possibilities into reality, and she left this earth driving faster than any other woman in history.
Surrounded by her family and friends at the time of her passing, Jessi lived fearlessly and her legacy lives on in the countless lives she touched.
Jessi is known for her hosting work on television series including “All Girls Garage,” “Overhaulin’,” “Extreme 4×4” and Autoblog’s “The List.”
Jessi is survived by her Mother Nina (Chuck, niece Nina Alayne) Darrington, Father Jamie (Sandy) Combs, brother Kelly Combs (Cary, Eli, Ethan and Anna), sisters Danielle Theis (Jacin, Justice, Nation), Brother Austin Darrington (Leah, Lane) Kayla Green, Kyrie Darrington, Natasha Darrington
Step sisters Rebekah Hall (son Aaren Kearns), Arielle Hall (son Dru Hanson). And Jessi’s love, Terry Madden, and his son Dalton.
A celebration of Jessi’s life in being planned and a foundation is being created to continue her efforts to empower women and young girls to follow their dreams.