US driver and TV host Jessi Combs killed in bid to break land-speed record

Jessi Combs participates in a panel for Velocity's programme Overhaulin'.
Jessi Combs participates in a panel for Velocity's programme Overhaulin'.PHOTO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - Race car driver Jessi Combs, host of the television series All Girls Garage, was killed in a high-speed crash while trying to set a new land-speed record, her family said on Wednesday (Aug 28).

Combs, 39, was attempting to become the fastest woman on Earth when she was killed while racing on Tuesday on the Alvord Desert, a dry lake bed in south-eastern Oregon, the family said in a statement.

The details of the crash were not released.

"Jessi's most notable dream was to become the fastest woman on Earth, a dream she had been chasing since 2012," the statement said.

"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."

Combs, who began her career as a builder of hot-rod cars, was seen on television in a number of auto shows, including Overhaulin', Truck U, MythBusters and All Girls Garage.

Combs' close friend and teammate Terry Madden called her an "amazing spirit."

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. #doitforjessi #myjessi
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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. #doitforjessi #myjessi

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

"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!!" he said in an Instagram post.

Combs had chronicled her attempt on social media to beat the 512mph (823kmh) women's land-speed record set in 1976 by American Kitty O'Neil, who died last November.

In a posting on Instagram this week, Combs wrote, "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."