US race car driver Jessi Combs, who was dubbed the ‘fastest woman on four wheels,’ has died in a high speed crash at the age of 39.
The 39-year-old, who was also a television personality, was attempting to set a new land speed record at the time of the crash on Tuesday (August 27).
Jessi’s family confirmed she had died in a crash in a jet-powered car in south-east Oregon, but further details were not immediately released.
As reported by the BBC, Jessi earned the title of the ‘fastest woman on four wheels’ in 2013 when she reached 398 miles per hour.
The race car driver was trying to beat that speed and the absolute women’s land speed record of 512 miles per hour, set by Kitty O’Neil in 1976, when she crashed.
In a statement, the family said Jessi would be remembered 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.
The 39-year-old had appeared on a number of television shows, including Mythbusters. As news broke of her death, her former cast members shared tributes to their late colleague.
Terry Madden, a member of Jessi’s crew, confirmed she died on Tuesday in an Instagram post yesterday (August 28). Alongside an emotional caption, Madden shared a montage video of his time with Jessi.
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.
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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.
He went on to say Jessi died in a ‘horrific accident,’ adding he was the ‘first one there’ and everyone ‘did everything humanly possible to save her’.
‘Jessi’s most notable dream was to become the fastest woman on Earth, a dream she had been chasing since 2012,’ her family continued in the statement.
They praised Jessi for being ‘one of the rare dreamers with the bravery to turn those possibilities into reality,’ adding: ‘she left this Earth driving faster than any other woman in history’.
As per Entertainment Tonight, Oregon’s Harney County Sheriff’s Office confirmed in a press release yesterday that an emergency call came through at approximately 4pm on Tuesday.
According to the release, the caller said ‘a jet car attempting to break a land speed record on the Alvord Desert had crashed, leading to one fatality’.
The release also confirmed that, once emergency services arrived, Jessi was pronounced dead at the scene. The cause of the crash is currently unknown and the case remains under investigation.
Our thoughts are with Jessi’s loved ones at this difficult time.
Rest in peace, Jessi.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.
A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).