Combs, 39, was attempting to become the fastest woman on Earth in her 52,000hp jet-powered car when she was killed. — AFP
LOS ANGELES: 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.
Combs, 39, was attempting to become the fastest woman on Earth in her 52,000hp jet-powered car 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 earned the title of “fastest woman on four wheels” after breaking 640kph in the North American Eagle Supersonic Speed Challenger in 2013.
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.”
“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 posting.
Combs had chronicled her attempt on social media to beat the 823kph 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.”