Jessi Combs said she is "not afraid of dying" in a 2015 Instagram post about her ongoing dream to set new land-speed records. On Tuesday, the 39-year-old died trying to do just that again in Alvord Desert, Oregon. She was trying to break her own land-speed record with a jet-powered car.
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Combs shared the post on May 6, 2015, and it was originally shared on the Microsoft page.
"Jessi Combs is the world’s fastest woman - on four wheels. In 2013, she set the record with a heart-pumping speed of 406 miles per hour," the caption reads. "'I’m not afraid of dying,' says [Combs]. Jessi is still pushing herself to [Do More], as she has now set her sights on becoming the fastest woman on earth by breaking the land-speed record of 512 mph, set by Kitty O’Neil in 1976."
"Let this be a testament that girls can do anything they set their minds to, especially with such a knowledgeable and dedicated team supporting them to push those limits," Combs told Microsoft after hitting another personal best in October 2016.
Back in 2013, Combs became the "fastest woman on four wheels" by setting the women's land speed record. She drove 398 miles per hour, reaching a top speed of 440 mph. In October 2018, she hit 483 mph. She was hoping to go almost 500 mph on Tuesday.
Following her death, Combs' boyfriend, Terry Madden, published a heartbreaking statement on Instagram, telling fans her dream 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 [none] of them," Madden wrote. "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."
Madden's post became an internet vigil for Combs' fans, many of whom left their condolences for her family.
"My heart aches for you and your loss," one fan wrote.
"Terry, I’m so sorry for this unbelievable loss. Jessi was a light in this world...she was sunlight...she was moonlight. And she was love in this world. Sending my love to you," Rutledge Wood, who hosts Netflix's Hyperdrive, wrote.
"Sending love to you and your family," another fan wrote. "She will forever inspire and encourage little girls that they can do whatever they want."
Aside from setting racing records, Combs hosted several shows on auto subjects and science, including Mythbusters, Xtreme 4X4, Powerblock, All Girls Garage and The List: 1001 Car Thinks To Do Before You Die.