Professional driver and TV host Jessi Combs dies attempting to break land speed record in Oregon desert

The cause of the crash is unknown at this time, officials said.

August 28, 2019, 3:54 PM

Professional driver and TV host Jessica "Jessi" Combs died in a jet car while attempting to break a land speed record in Oregon, officials said.

Combs, 39, who held the title of "fastest woman on 4-wheels," was attempting to break her own record she set in 2013 with a top speed of 440 mph, according to her team's website.

Deputies from the Harney County Sheriff's Office responded to a 911 call following the crash in the Alvord Desert.

Combs was identified as the driver of the vehicle and was pronounced dead on scene, officials said in a press release.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

Combs' family released a statement about her death:

"It is with extreme grief, and in celebration of her life that her family and close friends share that race car driver, and TV personality Jessi Combs, passed away in a fatal crash, as she pursued setting a land speed record in the North American Eagle on August, 27th 2019 on a dry lake bed in Oregon," the statement said. "Jessi’s bright smile, positivity, and tenacious pursuit of her dreams inspired everyone who met her. Her drive and spirit were infectious, and she served as a role model for young girls and women around the world. Surounded 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 had posted on social media about preparing for the record-breaking attempt.

While her main focus was as a driver, Combs also appeared on a number of TV shows including the host of the seventh season of "Mythbusters" in 2009.

A member of her team, Terry Madden, posted about her death on Wednesday morning.