Combs (39) US race car driver and television personality, widely known as the fastest woman on four wheels has died in a jet-powered vehicle crash. The crash, which allegedly was an attempt to break a land-speed record, occurred in Oregon’s Alvord Desert on Tuesday.
In 2013 Combs reached 398 mph (641km/h) and was trying to beat that speed and the absolute women’s land speed record of 512 mph (824km/h) – set by Kitty O’Neil in 1976 – when she crashed.
Born in South Dakota in 1980, Combs developed a love of racing and machinery from a young age with the encouragement of her family. Combs soon began appearing on a number of television shows, where she showed off her skills building and modifying cars for off-road racing.
Jessi joined the North American Eagle Supersonic Speed Challenger team in 2013, with whom she reached her top speed of 398 mph. It’s reported she managed to reach 483 mph in a previous attempt to break her record, although the speed was not officially validated due to a mechanical fault.
Her family have released a statement to confirm the 39-year-old’s crash.
“Jessi’s most notable dream was to become the fastest woman on Earth, a dream she had been chasing since 2012. Combs 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.”
Days before the fatal accident, Combs herself posted on Instagram to briefly address the risks attached to her automotive record attempts.
“It may seem a little crazy to walk directly into the line of fire… those who are willing, are those who achieve great things… People say I’m crazy. I say thank you,”