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World’s “Fastest Woman” Dies in Crash

Jessi Combs, who holds the land speed record for a female driver in a 4-wheel vehicle, was killed yesterday in a crash while attempting to better her own mark.
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Jessi Combs, who holds the land speed record for a female driver in a 4-wheel vehicle, was killed yesterday in a crash while attempting to break her own mark. She was 39.

The crash occurred in the Alvord Desert near Fields, Ore., while Combs was piloting the 52,000-hp, American Eagle Supersonic Speed Challenger jet-powered car.

Combs set the woman’s mark in 2013 in the same car to an average speed of 398 mph over the course of two runs in opposite directions. She was on the verge of breaking that record last year with an initial run of 483 mph. But mechanical problems prevented a second pass necessary to confirm a new record.

Combs was an accomplished off-road racer who competed in the Baja 1000 and won a leg of the 2016 King of Hammers event. She also built and fabricated vehicles, designed a line of women’s welding gear and hosted several television shows, including "All Girls Garage,” “Xtreme 4x4” and “Overhaulin.”