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Former 'MythBusters’ host and race car driver Jessi Combs dies in crash while trying to break own land-speed record

2019-08-28

Jessi Combs died in a crash in Oregon on Tuesday. (Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Professional racer and TV personality Jessi Combs, known as the "fastest woman on four wheels," was tragically killed Tuesday as she tried to break her own land-speed record in Oregon.

Authorities say the fatal crash took place when Combs, 36, lost control of her jet-powered vehicle on the Alvord Desert. She was attempting to best her record-setting mark of 398 miles per hour, achieved in 2013, according to Road & Track magazine.

“I was the first one there and trust me we did everything humanly possible to save her!!” racing teammate Terry Madden wrote on Instagram on Wednesday. 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."

Madden added that Combs was “the most amazing spirit that I have ever or will ever know.”

The versatile Combs also appeared on multiple television shows, including “Jay Leno’s Garage,” and hosted the popular “MythBusters” on the Discovery Channel.

Former “MythBusters” co-host Adam Savage tweeted Wednesday that Combs “was a brilliant & top-notch builder, engineer, driver, fabricator, and science communicator, & strove everyday to encourage others by her prodigious example.”

Combs’ family said in a statement to Yahoo that her “most notable dream was to become the fastest woman on Earth.”

She “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,” the statement read.

The South Dakota native reached 483 miles per hour in October of 2018, but mechanical troubles ended the bid before it could become official, according to Road & Track.