OREGON – Jet-car speed racer Jessi Combs,has died in a crash in Oregon’s Alvord Desert while trying to break a speed record. Jessi known by fans as the “fastest woman on four wheels.”
Combs, 39, died Tuesday afternoon while racing in a dry lake bed in a desert in Oregon. Sheriff’s Lt. Brian Needham said the cause of the crash is still under investigation.
Combs was widely known in the niche sport of jet-car racing and was attempting to break the Women’s Land Speed Record of 512 mph. Set in 1976 by Kitty O’Neil when she too died.
She currently held the record as the fastest woman on four wheels. O’Neil piloted a three-wheeled vehicle for a 398 mph performance in 2013. She had driven even faster in follow-up runs, but mechanical problems prevented those from making the record books.
In an Instagram post on Sunday, Combs indicated that she hoped to break O’Neil’s record in the Oregon desert.
She wrote, “People say I’m crazy. I say, ‘thank you.’”
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
In a statement, Combs’ family said her “most notable dream was being the fastest woman on Earth.”
Combs, who was born in Rapid City, South Dakota and lived in Long Beach, California.
She studied automotive design and fabrication and appeared as a host on Spike TV’s Extreme 4X4 from 2005 to 2009.
Jessi also appeared on and guest hosted a number of TV shows, including “Mythbusters” while honing her skills as a professional driver for movies and commercials.
In May 2012, Combs became a co-host with Chris Jacobs for the sixth season of Overhaulin on the Velocity and Discovery channel.