A television personality who was also a professional race car driver died in a jet-car crash while trying to set a land speed record.
The New York Times reports that Jessi Combs, who was a regular on the automotive shows “Overhaulin'” and “Xtreme 4×4” and made a series of appearances on “MythBusters,” was killed Tuesday afternoon in Oregon. She was 39.
“Ms. Combs’s death was confirmed in a statement by the Harney County Sheriff’s Office, which responded to the scene of the crash in the Alvord Desert in southeastern Oregon on Tuesday afternoon,” The Times reports. “The office said it did not yet know the cause of the crash.”
According to a statement from Combs’ family, she had been driving the North American Eagle, a 56-foot-long jetlike car capable of generating more than 45,500 horsepower. The crash took place on a dry lake bed.
Her family said in the statement: “People that loved her and followed her became family, all bonded together by adventure and passion. Her fans adored her, and she lived to inspire them.”
The Times notes that longtime “MythBusters” personality Adam Savage said on Twitter that Combs was a “brilliant” builder, engineer, driver, fabricator and science communicator, who “strove everyday to encourage others by her prodigious example.”
Savage added: “She was also a colleague, and we are lesser for her absence. My heart goes out to her family.”
The Times article notes: “After graduating from a Wyoming technical college with a degree in automotive fabrication, Ms. Combs found her way onto ‘Overhaulin’’ and then ‘Xtreme 4×4,’ according to a biography on her personal website. In 2007, she suffered a spinal injury in an accident involving a large piece of machinery, after which she decided to leave that show. Two years later, she started appearing on ‘MythBusters.’”
Here’s a clip of Combs, who became known as the “fastest woman on four wheels,” talking about her interest in fast cars. The clip was posted to YouTube in 2017 by Hoonigan.