On Monday, racer Jessi Combs posted the photo above with the following caption:
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.
She posted this knowing that the following day, yesterday, she'd be speeding well over 400MPH across the packed dirt of Oregon's Alvord Desert in an attempt to beat her own previous best. Unfortunately at around 4pm while this attempt was underway, her jet-powered vehicle crashed.
Earlier today, her death was confirmed by partner Terry Madden:
So I don’t know how to say any of this but it all needs said. I have never loved or been loved by anyone as much as this amazing woman @thejessicombs she was truly my unicorn and I enjoyed every single minute that I had with her. She was the most amazing spirit that I have ever or will ever know. 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!! I’m not ok, but she is right here keeping my going - I made her a promise that if this didn’t go well that I would make sure and do good with it, please help me with that, you are all going to see things on news please believe non of them.. we the family have drafted a release and it will come out today with more proper info, but I was just woke up by the media tracking me down and I need everyone of her true friends to do what she would want “take a deep breath, relax” and do good things with this. Please donate to nothing, I know there will be people try, we are finishing the documentary as she wished and the world will know the truth and her foundation will use those funds to do amazing things in this world and make her legacy live on properly. In the coming days her family and I will get the proper channels put together that you can then donate to that foundation but until you hear it from me wait please-I don’t want some asshole profiting off this (all ready had one try to sell us a video)... Love you all and thank you all for being such amazing friends to her, she dedicated her life to helping support others dreams and I promise I will continue that.
Madden is understandably distraught by her loss, & clearly upset with media hounding him for information. It's also pretty gross that outlets are asking him to sell the video of the crash, and barely a full 24 hours after it's happened. I think it's impressive that he had the presence of mind to ask people to slow down, hold off on donations, and wait for more information, and that he took time to assure her fans they'd continue to work on her documentary.
Combs was known as "The Fastest Woman On Four Wheels" and, according to Road & Track, was,
...a legend in the automotive world. Trained in fabrication and hot-rod building at WyoTech, she soon made her way to automotive television. Combs was a host, builder, and technical expert on shows like Xtreme 4x4, Overhaulin', Truck U, and Two Guys Garage. She brought about Velocity channel's All Girls Garage, and was a host and builder on a season of Discovery Channel's Mythbusters.
Shout out to a badass lady who lived fearlessly & broke barriers doing it.
For some perspective on what she accomplished land-speed racing, check out this video: