Professional racer and former Mythbusters star Jessi Combs was killed on Tuesday in Oregon while attempting to break her own speed record. Her death was announced by team member and partner Terry Madden, who said the 36-year-old died in a “horrific accident” and that every attempt was made to save her life.
“I have never loved or been loved by anyone as much as this amazing woman [Jessi Combs] 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,” Madden captioned an Instagram post on Wednesday.
He added, “I’m not ok, but she is right here keeping my (sic) going. I made her a promise that if this didn’t go well that I would make sure and do good with it.”
Combs appeared on 12 episodes of Discovery’s Mythbusters during season 7 while regular “Build Team” member Kari Byron was on maternity leave. Byron shared a message about the loss via her official Twitter account.
“So sad to hear about Jessi. She was a badass,” she said. “Always pushing limits. Sending smiles into the universe for her.”
Combs also previously served as co-host on Spike TV’s Xtreme 4×4 and Velocity’s Overhaulin’ automotive reality series.
The South Dakota native earned the title of “Fastest Woman on Four Wheels” after driving a record 398 mph in 2013. According to local news, the sheriff’s office and Bureau of Land Management are investigating the accident.
Discovery released a statement about the loss of Combs on Wednesday.
“The Discovery and MotorTrend Family is deeply saddened to learn of the tragic passing of Jessi Combs. She was a friend and colleague, an icon in the industry, and an undeniable force of nature who left an indelible mark on the car world. Our thoughts are with her family and loved ones.”
Mythbusters host Adam Savage, who worked with Combs during her time on the show, also remembered her today.
“I’m so so sad, Jessi Combs has been killed in a crash,” he wrote. “She was a brilliant & too-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.”