Jessi Combs, Race Car Driver and ‘Mythbusters’ Host, Dies at 36 Trying to Break Her Own Speed Record

Known as the “fastest woman on four wheels,” Combs set a record of 398 mph in 2013

Last Updated: August 28, 2019 @ 11:46 AM

Former “Mythbusters” star and professional race car driver Jessi Combs died in a crash on Tuesday while attempting to break her own land-speed record.

News of her death was confirmed by her teammate Terry Madden in an Instagram post on Wednesday.

“She was the most amazing spirit that I have ever or will ever know,” he wrote. “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 [sic] going.”

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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.

A post shared by Terry L. Madden (@terry_madden) on

Combs appeared on the seventh season of “Mythbusters” in 2009, filling in for regular star Kari Byron.

“So sad to hear about Jessi,” Byron wrote on Twitter. “She was a badass. Always pushing limits. Sending smiles into the universe for her.”

“Mythbusters” star Adam Savage also paid tribute to Combs on Twitter, writing, “She was a brilliant & too-notch builder, engineer, driver, fabricator, and science communicator, & strove everyday to encourage others by her prodigious example. She was also a colleague, and we are lesser for her absence.”

In addition to “Mythbusters,” Combs’ TV work also included serving as co-host of Velocity’s “Overhaulin'” from 2012 to 2014.

“The Discovery and MotorTrend family is deeply saddened to learn of the tragic passing of Jessi Combs,” Discovery said in a statement. “She was a friend and colleague, an icon in the industry, and an undeniable force of nature who left an indelible mark on the car world. Our thoughts are with her family and loved ones.”

The accident came Tuesday afternoon in a dry lake bed in southeast Oregon’s Alvord Desert, according to Oregon station KTVZ.

Combs was attempting to best her own four-wheeled women’s land speed record at the time of the accident. She previously set the 398 mph record in her jet-powered vehicle in 2013, earning her the title of “the fastest woman on four wheels.”

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