39-Year-Old Auto Legend Jessi Combs Killed After “Horrific” Crash Caused by Wheel Failure

39-Year-Old Auto Legend Jessi Combs Killed After “Horrific” Crash Caused by Wheel Failure

November 5, 2019

Update, 11/5:

Investigators looking into the death of Jessi Combs back in August have concluded the crash that killed her was caused by a mechanical failure.

The Harney County Sheriff’s Office in Oregon reports that one of the front wheels failed, “most likely caused from striking an object on the desert.” Jessi’s car was moving too fast to recover from something like that. The release says she died from blunt force trauma.

Original story, 8/28:

Driver and all-around auto legend Jessi Combs tragically in August after an accident in a jet-powered land-speed car in the Alvord Desert in Oregon, according to Road and Truck. She was 39 years old.

She passed away after trying to break her own land-speed record. Back in 2013, she went an astounding 398 mph in her jet-powered car, and she was trying to top it. She did hit 483.227 mph in October 2018, but that run apparently ended early because of mechanical issues, according to a post on her website.

A member of Combs’ team, Terry Madden, confirmed the awful news in an Instagram video today, explaining that there was a “horrific” crash.

Here’s what his caption says, in full:


Three days ago, Combs posted about her jet car on Instagram, with the caption, “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 ;)”


Combs was best known as the “fastest woman on four wheels” thanks to the record-breaking speeds she was able to achieve and her sheer automotive skill. You might also recognize her from the many impressive television appearances she made. She was the cohost of the Spike TV show Xtreme 4×4 and she also appeared on Overhaulin’, Mythbusters, The List: 1001 Car Things to Do Before You Die, All Girls Garage, and How to Build…Everything.

Rest in peace, Jessi.

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