Jessi Combs, a popular automotive TV personality, racer, and car builder died this week in a crash while attempting a new land-speed record in Oregon. Combs was 39.
The record Combs was trying to break was her own—a four-wheeled vehicle record of 398 miles per hour in October 2013, piloting the North American Eagle Supersonic Speed Challenger.
According to Autoblog—which had a close working relationship with Combs because she hosted Autoblog’s “The List” video series—Combs had hit speeds north of 483 mph in follow-up land-speed runs as recently as last year, but those feats never made it into the official record books because mechanical issues cut the attempts short.
The fatal accident took place on a dry lake bed called the Alvord Desert in southeast Oregon.
“Jessi’s most notable dream was to become the fastest woman on Earth,” her family wrote in a statement. “…she left this earth driving faster than any other woman in history.”
Autoblog’s “The List,” hosted by Combs, was a 70-episode automotive series that ran from December 2011 through December 2017. In addition to its original publication on Autoblog, the show also aired on Speed Network in 2013 and on Velocity in 2015.
The OnAllCylinders staff and the extended Summit Racing family send our thoughts and prayers to Combs’ family and many friends. Godspeed, Jessi.
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Combs was 36, which was based on several news reports. According to more recent articles and Combs’ Wikipedia page, she was 39.