— Jessi Combs, a racer, car builder, and former part-time on-camera member of the Mythbusters team, has died in an attempt to break her own land speed record in a jet car.
According to the popular car enthusiast website Jalopnik, the fatal accident took place Tuesday, on the Alvord Desert in Oregon. The 39-year-old, once dubbed “the fastest woman on four wheels,” set the previous record in a jet-assisted car in 2013, clocking 398 miles per hour at that same location.
She reportedly reached speeds of 483 mph there in 2018, but that accomplishment wasn’t made official.
In a memorial Instagram slideshow of the groundbreaking racer in happier times, Terry L. Madden, a member of Combs’ team, confirmed the news of the “horrific accident.”
He explained, “I was the first one there and trust me we did everything humanly possible to save her!”
Madden went on to call Combs his “unicorn,” adding, “I have never loved or been loved by anyone as much as this amazing woman.”
Combs’ former Mythbusters co-stars memorialized her on social media, with Adam Savage calling Jessi a, “…brilliant & [top]-notch builder, engineer, driver, fabricator, and science communicator,” and adding, “We are lesser for her absence.”
He added, “My heart goes out to her family.”
Kari Byron, for whom Combs occasionally subbed on the hit Discovery show, added, “She was a bada**. Always pushing limits. Sending smiles into the universe for her.”
In addition to Mythbusters, Combs also co-hosted the Spike TV series Xtreme 4X4, and appeared on Overhaulin’, All Girls Garage and The List: 1001 Car Things To Do Before You Die.
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