Jay Leno and the stars of Mythbusters have led the tributes to professional driver and TV host Jessi Combs who was killed yesterday after crashing her jet-powered car while trying to break her own women’s land speed record
Combs, 39, was attempting to better to her 398mph record at about 4pm on a dry bed lake in the Alvord Desert in Oregon when she crashed and died.
Now, TV host Leno, who previously hosted Combs on an episode of his CNBC show, ‘Jay Leno’s Garage, has led a flood of tributes to the popular star.
He wrote on Twitter: ‘In memory of the fastest woman on four wheels. Your memory lives on.’
Mythbusters Kari Byron, who was temporarily replaced by Combs while on maternity leave, wrote: ‘So sad to hear about Jessi. She was a badass. Always pushing limits. Sending smiles into the universe for her.’
Jessi Combs was killed on Tuesday after crashing her jet car while trying to break her own women’s land speed record in Oregon
The TV personality, who broke the 398mph record in 2013, was attempting to better her record
Combs has hosted various car shows and also appeared as a host and builder on Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters
Fellow show star Adam Savage said: ‘I’m so so sad, Jessi Combs has been killed in a crash.
‘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.’
And co-star Tory Belleci added: ‘Absolutely gutted to hear the news of Jessi Combs. You’re a legend Jessi and I will miss you my friend.’
Actress Kristy Swanson wrote: ‘We became instant friends & with open arms you welcomed me into the biker family, riding beside you was an honor.
‘A radiant pearl tough, strong & beautiful on the outside but soft on the inside. My heart is so heavy, I will miss you my sister.’
Exact details of crash have not been released, though family say she was surrounded by loved ones
Combs, dubbed the fastest woman on four wheels, was trying to beat her land speed record of 398 miles per hour, which she set in 2013
Investigators are now trying to recover the laptops that were on-board the Combs’ jet-car to determine the cause of the crash that killed her.
Police have confirmed that there was fire involved, though they are unsure what caused the blaze.
Lt. Brian Needham of the Harney County Sheriff’s Office told the New York Post: ‘They’re waiting for the team to recover the [engine and systems] information stored on the inboard computers.’
Combs, dubbed the fastest woman on four wheels, was pursuing a land speed record for women in the North American Eagle.
The TV personality, who broke the 398mph record in 2013, joined the North American Eagle Supersonic Speed Challenger team as driver that same year.
She managed to hit 483 miles per hour in a shakedown run on the same 13-mile course in 2016 but it ended prematurely due to mechanical issues.
Combs was driving the same North American Eagle Supersonic Speed Challenger she has used in previous attempts.
Investigators are now trying to recover the laptops that were on-board the Combs’ jet-car to determine the cause of the crash that killed her
Combs was driving the same North American Eagle Supersonic Speed Challenger she has used in previous attempts
Her death has led to an outpouring of support from devastated colleagues, friends and fans
The exact details of the crash have not yet been released but her family said she was surrounded by loved ones when she died.
Her family said she had been chasing her dream to become the fastest woman on Earth 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,’ they said in a statement.
Just days before her death, Combs had posted on Instagram acknowledging her quest to break 512mph.
‘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,’ she wrote, adding the hashtags #gottabreak512 #aimingfor619.
Just days before her death, Combs had posted on Instagram acknowledging her quest to break 512mph
The 39-year-old was killed in the crash on Tuesday at about 4pm on a dry bed lake in Alvord Desert in Oregon
Just days before her death, Combs had posted on Instagram (above) acknowledging her quest to break 512mph
Her partner Terry Madden confirmed news of the horrific accident in an Instagram tribute post on Wednesday, saying he did everything he could to save her.
‘I was the first one there and trust me we did everything humanly possible to save her,’ Madden wrote.
‘I have never loved or been loved by anyone as much as this amazing woman 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.
‘I’m not okay 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.’
Her family paid tribute to Combs saying she was known for her ‘bright smile, positivity and tenacious pursuit of the fulfillment of her dreams’.
Her devastated family paid tribute to her after news of her death, saying she was known for her ‘bright smile, positivity and tenacious pursuit of the fulfillment of her dreams’
The exact details of the crash have not yet been released but her family said she was surrounded by loved ones when she died. Combs is pictured above in Oregon during a test session in 2016
‘Her drive was infectious and she served as a role model for young girls and women around the world.
‘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.
‘Surrounded by her family and friends at the time of her passing, Jessi lived fearlessly and her legacy lives on in the countless lives she touched.’
Born in Rapid City, South Dakota, Combs had a lifelong dream to become a race car driver.
She graduated from WyoTech in Wyoming with a degree in Custom Automotive Fabrication and eventually fell into television.
She hosted various automotive shows, including Xtreme 4×4, Overhaulin’, Truck U, and Two Guys Garage.
Combs had previously also appeared as a host and builder on Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters.
Her family said they were planning a celebration of her life and vowed to set up a foundation to continue her efforts to empower women and young girls.
Her family said she had been chasing her dream to become the fastest woman on Earth since 2012