Mythbusters co-host Jessica "Jessi" Combs has passed away in a horrific crash. The professional racer and television host was killed while attempting to beat her own land speed racing record.
Combs, a professional driver, was born in Rapid City, South Dakota. She had a lifelong desire to become a race car driver, falling in love with machines and all things automotive. She was a metal worker, leather crafter, and a photographer as well. She went to school in Wyoming where she studied Custom Automotive Fabrication. Her skills led her to television, where she was often a guest fabricator on Overhaulin' and then was a co-host of Xtreme 4x4. For over four years, she and co-host Ian Johnson built everything from race trucks to trail rigs for millions of viewers. In 2009, she appeared as a co-host and builder on the 7th season of Mythbusters to fill in for Kari Byron's maternity leave. In 2011, she then was featured on All Girls Garage.
As a woman with a competitive spirit and a need for speed, Combs felt most at home when she was behind the wheel. She took part in many different races and went home with podium finishes throughout her epic racing career. In 2013, Jessi was titled "the fastest woman on 4-wheels" after she broke the 398 mph record with a top speed of 440 mph. On August 27, Jessi attempted to break her record. At just 39-years-old, Combs died in the jet car while attempting to break the land speed record in the Alvord Desert in Oregon - the same desert where, six years prior, she had set the record. According to ABC News, deputies from the Harney County Sheriff's Office responded to the 911 call that followed the crash. Officials say in a press release that Combs was identified as the driver of the vehicle and was pronounced dead on the scene. Combs had posted, just three days before her death, a photo of her walking toward the vehicle she would race in, with the caption: "It may seem a little crazy to walk directly into the line of fire... those who are willing, are those who achieve great things." Read the full post below:
It may seem a little crazy to walk directly into the line of fire... those who are willing, are those who achieve great things. .— Jessi Combs (@TheJessiCombs) August 24, 2019
People say I’m crazy. I say thank you ;)
.#fastestwomanonearth #almost #fasterthanfast #jetcar #afterburner #landpsee… https://t.co/IrnCQQWMGJ pic.twitter.com/A5NZ6Luq0u
The family released a statement about losing their beloved family member, writing, "It is with extreme grief, and in celebration of her life that her family and close friends share that race car driver, and TV personality Jessi Combs, passed away in a fatal crash, as she pursued setting a land speed record in the North American Eagle." The statement commemorated the adventurous woman, adding, "Jessi’s bright smile, positivity, and tenacious pursuit of her dreams inspired everyone who met her. Her drive and spirit were infectious, and she served as a role model for young girls and women around the world." The family also reminded fans that Combs was "surrounded by her family and friends at the time of her passing." And that the professional racer "lived fearlessly and her legacy lives on in the countless lives she touched."
The "fastest woman on 4-wheels" may be gone, but, like her family said, her legacy will live on. The television show host left hundreds of episodes of her doing what she did best - working on cars, racing cars, and inspiring fans. The passing of Combs is a real tragedy for the racing community and for the fans who watched her for so many years. As tragic as the passing of the beloved MythBusters star is, fans can be comforted that Combs died doing what she loved surrounded by friends and family. RIP Jessi Combs.