Jessi Combs Killed In Jet-Car Crash

“Fastest Woman on Four Wheels” was trying to set a new speed record.

Jessi Combs on a Harley Davidson motorcycle.
Jessi Combs, the “Fastest Woman on Four Wheels,” has died in a jet-car crash.City of Sturgis

We’ve lost a true shining star with the death of Jessi Combs, beloved racer, fabricator, and TV host. The 39-year-old so-called “Fastest Woman on Four Wheels” was trying to regain her title in an attempt to break a land-speed record on Tuesday, August 27. She was piloting a jet-powered car in Oregon’s Alvord Desert when the fatal crash occurred. No other details were available at this time.

Whether you knew her from stints on "MythBusters" and "Overhaulin' " or as a cohost for "The List," you knew Jessi Combs was the real deal. In her "All Girls Garage" show, her skill at metal fabrication was apparent. She was a builder and an accomplished racer both on and off road, and she was also a motorcyclist: the Rapid City native was named Grand Marshal for the Sturgis Mayor's Ride in 2017. She would appear in motorcycle events all over the country frequently, encouraging women to work on their own bikes, "to get creative and get dirty."

Her résumé was just full of unbelievably massive achievements: in 2013, she broke the four-wheel women’s land-speed record, hitting nearly 393 mph in her 52,000-hp North American Eagle Supersonic Speed Challenger (with a reconfigured jet engine), thereby becoming “the fastest woman on four wheels.” She would race rallies, and off-road in the Baja 1000. She was also the first woman to compete in The Race of Gentlemen.

“Jessi was known for her bright smile, positivity, and tenacious pursuit of the fulfillment of her dreams," her family said in a statement that was posted on Autoblog. Valerie Thompson, the first woman to go more than 300 mph on a motorcycle—the “fastest woman on two wheels”—also expressed her sadness on Twitter, writing, “…This hits home for me. Godspeed, Jessi Combs.”

More information about Jessi Combs can be read on her website: jessicombs.com/about.