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

Jessi Combs
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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.”

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.”