Authorities are currently investigating the tragic death of famed race car driver Jessi Combs, who perished earlier this week behind the wheel of a high-powered jet car.
Combs was attempting to break a land speed record in the Alvord Desert in Oregon Tuesday when the vehicle crashed, the Harney County Sheriff's Office said. The crash resulted in a jet fuel fire, authorities said, and Combs was pronounced dead at the scene. She was 39 years old.
Investigators are reportedly hoping that computers in the vehicle, called the North American Eagle Supersonic Speed Challenger, may reveal details on what led to the tragic accident, according to the New York Post.
“They’re waiting for the team to recover the [engine and systems] information stored on the inboard computers,” Lt. Brian Needham of the Harney County Sheriff’s Office told the paper.
He went on to confirm that “there was a fire involved” but did not elaborate, the Post reports.
Combs earned the title of “fastest woman on four wheels” after setting a land speed record of 398 mph in 2013, and then unofficially beating her own record in 2018 by reaching a speed of 483.227 mph, according to Road and Track.
She was attempting to beat her previous record and reach a speed of 619 mph when she died, Autoblog reports.
Combs’ family issued a statement honoring her memory on Wednesday, according to the Post.
“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,” their statement reads. “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.”
Combs, a professional racer and television host and producer, appeared on shows like “All Girls Garage,” “Overhaulin’,” and “Mythbusters.”
Adam Savage, former “Mythbusters” co-host, remembered Combs in a tweet Wednesday applauding her brilliance.
“I’m so so sad, Jessi Combs has been killed in a crash,” he wrote. “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.”
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