Jessi Combs, racer, fabricator and host of automotive TV shows and Autoblog's "The List" video series, died yesterday while attempting to beat her own land-speed record on the dry lake bed of the Alvord Desert in Oregon. She was 39 years old.
Here's a collection of reactions from the car world, which is remembering Jessi for her singular talent and fearless personality.
My heart is breaking.— Tamara, Agent of G.I.R.L. (@tlynnr85) August 28, 2019
Jessi Combs was one of the most courageous, inspiring and truly caring people I have ever had the honor of knowing. 👩🏭
The world is a lesser place without her in it. Rest In Peace lady and know you’ll be greatly missed. pic.twitter.com/2h3TGeJmR8
...— Chris Paukert (@CPAutoScribe) August 28, 2019
I don't even know what to say to you anymore, 2019.
This is the worst news.
Jessi had an innate spirit and fight like few people I've ever met, let alone had the privilege to work with. So much fun to be around. So amazing to watch her tackle new challenges.
In memory of the fastest woman on four wheels.— Jay Leno (@jayleno) August 28, 2019
Your memory lives on. pic.twitter.com/ztY8F18oMO
It's with a heavy heart that I pass along the news that Jessi Combs passed away yesterday while attempting to break a land speed record. I also had the chance to attempt this record but it wasn't my turn...this hits home for me. Godspeed, Jessi Combs. pic.twitter.com/bfE2N9Cy2k— Valerie Thompson (@ValerieThompson) August 28, 2019
We have lost an incredible person in our world. I woke up to very sad news that Jessi Combs is no longer with us. I will always remember how great of person and inspiration she was to so many men and women alike! She broke barriers and constantly achieve… https://t.co/KmHoeriDM7 pic.twitter.com/9NkxaSfHkG— Vaughn Gittin Jr. (@VaughnGittinJr) August 28, 2019
Woke up to the news of my friend, @TheJessiCombs’ tragic death. She lost her life doing what she loved, attempting to beat her own land-speed record. She’s always been a good friend since the Overhaulin days and I can’t believe she’s gone. RIP Jessi, Fastest Woman on Four Wheels. pic.twitter.com/IHawS9q7zO— Richard Ray Rawlings (@RRRawlings) August 28, 2019
I’m so so sad, Jessi Combs has been killed in a crash. She was a brilliant & top-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
R.I.P Jessi Combs 🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/41Z5wdRXVI— Adrienne Janic (@AdrienneJanic) August 28, 2019
RIP Jessi Combs, 36. Shocked and saddened to hear the passing of @TheJessiCombs who was attempting to break her own speed record in the Alvord Desert, Oregon, while piloting the North American Eagle Supersonic Speed Challenger jet-car when it crashed. pic.twitter.com/TUK982FSmE— Galpin Auto Sports (@galpinautosport) August 28, 2019
View this post on Instagram
Words fall so short...Godspeed Jessi you’re an angel now as you were always for so many of us ✨🌟✨ Big hugs to everyone feelin the news of the loss of this amazing soul @thejessicombs I just still can’t believe it. Was just texting with her Sunday wanting to go out there and cheer her on, wishing her well. She was so excited about Tuesday and setting this record. She was out there living her dreams with so much passion and fearlessness. Forever grateful for the good times we shared, her ever inspiring passion, her contagious laugh, that smile, the new friendships ... Forever grateful to @chipfooseofficial for connecting me to @lynstjames who then brought all these special women together. I kept asking myself how I ended up along side these amazing women. Always working on bringing up others and empowering women to get out there and charge too. Such a beautiful legacy. To live, really live your life..that is so rare and priceless. That will live on in all our hearts forever ♥️💔♥️ #godspeed #jessicombs #lifewelllived #legend #fearless #alwayslaughingtogether #fastestwomanonfourwheels #tribe #ladylegends #favoritehumans #queenofhammers #gutted @karen.salvaggio.1 @lynstjames @shiftupnow @sgtomama @gypsylynn05 @the_hero_lab @coldhardart
A statement from Jessi's family:
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, where she was pursuing a land speed record in the North American Eagle on August, 27th 2019 on a dry lake bed in Oregon. The details of the crash have not been released at this time.
Jessi was known for her bright smile, positivity, and tenacious pursuit of the fulfillment of her dreams. Her drive was infectious, and she served as a role model for young Girls, and Women around the world. People that loved her and followed her became family, all bonded together by adventure and passion. Her fans adored her, and she lived to inspire them. Jessi’s most notable dream was to become the fastest woman on Earth, a dream she had been chasing since 2012. 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.
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.
Jessi is known for her hosting work on television series including “All Girls Garage”, “Overhaulin’ “, Extreme 4x4 and Autoblog’s “The List”.
Jessi is survived by her Mother Nina (Chuck, niece NIna Alayne) Darrington, Father Jamie (Sandy) Combs, brother Kelly Combs (Cary, Eli, Ethan and Anna), sisters Danielle Theis (Jacin, Justice, Nation), Brother Austin Darrington (Leah, Lane) Kayla Green, Kyrie Darrington, Natasha Darrington
Step sisters Rebekah Hall (son Aaren Kearns), Arielle Hall (son Dru Hanson). And Jessi‘s love Terry Madden and his son Dalton.
A celebration of Jessi's life in being planned and a foundation is being created to continue her efforts to empower women and young girls to follow their dreams.
Autoblog's statement, from Adam Morath, director of business management and former executive producer of "The List"
"Fearless and accomplished behind the wheel. Kind and unassuming in person. Jessi Combs was an inspiration to us all at Autoblog, and it was an honor to have collaborated with her for so many years.
"One of the most compelling elements of "The List" was the odd couple dynamic between Jessi and her co-host Patrick McIntyre. The show, as originally devised, was to pair a young, enthusiastic upstart with a gruff veteran of the auto industry. In our test shoots, both presenters were male. When Jessi auditioned for the role of the auto expert, however, our approach shifted and the show was much better for it.
"Both Jessi and Patrick were competitive, but also clearly one another’s biggest cheerleaders. They formed an amazing alliance and deep friendship that provided so many thrilling, hilarious and memorable moments for audiences of "The List".
"We at Autoblog were among Jessi's biggest fans," said Morath.