MythBusters Star Jessi Combs' Fatal Car Crash Cause Revealed

Brenda Watkins
November 7, 2019

The wreck occurred at the Alvord Desert dry lake bed in southern OR while Combs was behind the wheel of the North American Eagle Super Sonic Speed Challenger, a 52,000-horsepower turbine-jet-powered auto.

Terry Madden, Combs' boyfriend, confirmed her death on Instagram, sharing a montage of videos with the race auto driver, who was known as "the fastest woman on four wheels".

Her jet auto suddenly crashed and burst into flames with her inside.

Combs was attempting a land-speed record in Oregon's Alvord Desert Aug. 27 when one of the vehicle's front wheels failed, according to the Harney County Sheriff's Office.

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"Based on the evidence collected and examined at the scene of the appears that there was a mechanical failure of the front wheel, most likely caused from striking an object on the desert", investigators wrote in their report released Monday.

Following her death, the Jessi Combs Foundation was established.

According to the report, the car's front wheel suffered the mechanical failure before the crash. "Jessi Combs: Life at Full Speed" honored her life and accomplishments, highlighting her career as a fabricator, race auto driver and TV presenter. She crashed trying to eclipse her previous speed record of 440 miles per hour as well as another previous female benchmark of 512 miles per hour set by Kitty O'Neil.

Prior to Mythbusters, Combs was a co-host on the Spike TV series XTreme 4×4 for five years. At the time, Combs had already owned the title of "the fastest woman on four wheels" since 2013, after hitting 640 kilometres per hour in a jet-powered North American Eagle Supersonic Speed Challenger.

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