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Jetcar racer dies in crash while trying to break speed record

Jetcar racer Jessi Combs has died in a crash as she tried to break a speed record.

Her family released a statement confirming the 36-year-old died in a crash in a dry lake bed on Tuesday in Oregon's Alvord Desert.

"Jessi's most notable dream was to become the fastest woman on Earth, a dream she had been chasing since 2012.

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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 😉 . . . #fastestwomanonearth #almost #fasterthanfast #jetcar #afterburner #landpseed @landspeed763 #iwillgofaster #gottabreak512 #aimingfor619 #currentlyat483 #northamericaneagle #i❤️afterburners

A post shared by Jessi Combs (@thejessicombs) on

"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."

Close friend and teammate Terry Madden paid tribute to her on Instagram and said he is "not ok" after losing the "most amazing spirit that I have ever or will ever know".

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"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.

Police say the cause of the accident is under investigation.

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According to US magazine Car And Driver, Combs is widely known in racing circles as the "fastest woman on four wheels" and broke a record in 2013 with a run of 393mph (632kmph).

I’m so so sad, Jessi Combs has been killed in a crash. 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.

— Adam Savage (@donttrythis) August 28, 2019

She had posted on Instagram on Sunday that she wanted to break 512mph (823kmph) – the record set in 1976 by American Kitty O'Neil.

She 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 Im crazy. I say thank you."

Combs, born in South Dakota, was the host of television series All Girls Garage and also appeared on TV shows including Discovery's Mythbusters.

Her Mythbusters co-star Adam Savage said he was "so, so sad".

"She was a brilliant & top-notch builder, engineer, driver, fabricator, and science communicator, & strove everyday to encourage others by her prodigious example," he said.

"She was also a colleague, and we are lesser for her absence."

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