Police in Oregon are now investigating the cause of the jet-car crash on Tuesday that killed television personality and four-wheel land-speed record holder Jessi Combs. The accident, which reportedly occurred at over 400 mph, happened as Combs was attempting to break Kitty O'Neil's longstanding 512-mph female land speed record on a dry lakebed in Oregon's Alvord Desert.
While the automotive world continues to grapple with Combs’ death, police are working to piece together what happened moments prior to the disaster. While investigators with the Harney County Sheriff's Office know that a fire was involved—the crash also resulted in a "jet fuel fire on the desert"—they’re also attempting to recover the laptops that were onboard the 52,000-horsepower jet car to help pinpoint an exact cause.
Combs was known for her many TV appearances, but she was most famous as the "fastest woman on four wheels” thanks to her officially-timed 393-mph record run in the North American Eagle Supersonic Speed Challenger back in 2013 (Kitty O'Neil piloted a three-wheeler). In 2016, she reached a speed of 440 mph and attempted to beat that speed last year before running into mechanical failure. Not one to shy away from risk, Combs strapped into the car fully aware that many people felt she was out of her mind for making the attempt. In a social media post shared a few days before her death, 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.”
Combs’ team calls the crash a “horrific accident,” adding that they “did everything humanly possible to save her.” Combs reportedly passed away surrounded by her team and family.
h/t: NY Post