Mythbusters’ Jessi Combs Dies in Accident at Age 36

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Mythbusters’ co-host, professional racer, and TV personality Jessi Combs tragically died on Tuesday, August 27th, while attempting to break her own land speed record on a dry lake bed in Oregon. Known as “the fastest woman on four wheels,” Combs was trying hit 619 m.p.h. when she fatally crashed. She was only 36 years old.

Many know Combs from her time on Mythbusters‘ Build Team in 2009, but she was also known for appearances on Xtreme 4×4, Overhaulin’ and for her work as a builder, engineer, and teacher.

According to Autoblog, “Combs initially set a four-wheeled vehicle record of 398 miles per hour in October 2013 driving the North American Eagle Supersonic Speed Challenger. She had hit speeds of over 483 mph in subsequent followup runs as recently as last year, but mechanical issues kept those attempts out of the official record books. Just three days ago in an Instagram post, Combs indicated she was aiming for 619 mph in the jet-powered vehicle.”

According to NBC News, “Combs was the lead driver on the North American Eagle racing team. She was identified as the sole fatality connected with the accident, which is under investigation. The section of the Alvord Desert the team was using was approximately 8 miles long, authorities said.” The vehicle she was driving at the time of the accident was a supersonic vehicle crafted from the fuselage of a jet plane. She’d already driven the vehicle once before, back in the Fall of 2018 and even then, an issue with it caused the door to rip right off of it, while she was inside.

Madden wrote a heartbreaking Instagram post dedicated to his partner: “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 none of them.. we the family have drafted a release and it will come out today with more proper info, but I was just woken up by the media tracking me down and I need every one 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 (already 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.”

Adam Savage, former co-host of Mythbusters tweeted the following eulogy to his former co-host:

He followed it up with a simple “My heart goes out to her family.”

“Jessi was known for her bright smile, positivity, and tenacious pursuit of the fulfillment of her dreams. Her drive was infectious, and she served as a role model for young Girls, and Women around the world. People that loved her and followed her became family, all bonded together by adventure and passion.  Her fans adored her, and she lived to inspire them. Jessi’s most notable dream was to become the fastest woman on Earth, a dream she had been chasing since 2012. Combs was one of the rare dreamers with the bravery to turn those possibilities into reality, and she left this earth driving faster than any other woman in history.”

Commenters mourned her passing in the comments section, saying things like “Passed away doing what she loved. Rest in peace.”

Sadly, Combs wasn’t the only celebrity to pass away in 2019…

Reality star, Beth Chapman, was best known for her marriage to Dog the Bounty Hunter. The two starred together in many hugely successful television shows. Chapman died after a long battle with lung and throat cancer on June 26th in Honolulu, Hawaii.

The multitalented actress, model, and singer rose to fame on counterculture TV hit, The Mod Squad, but was introduced to a whole new audience through her role in David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. Lipton died of colon cancer in Los Angeles on the 11th of May.

Andres was a filmmaker best known for 1996’s Black Kite. She was the wife of movie star, Steve Buscemi, having been together for over thirty-one years. Andres died on January 6th in her home in Park Slope, Brooklyn, New York, from encapsulating peritoneal sclerosis.

Channing was an American actress, singer, dancer, and comedian, known for her work on both stage and screen. She won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Oscar for her role in Thoroughly Modern Millie, and appeared repeatedly on the Ed Sullivan Show. She died on January 15th, just sixteen days before her ninety-eighth birthday.

Stephen Scott Bell was an American journalist. In 1967, Bell covered the Vietnam War and was held in detention in Cambodia while he was investigating what appeared to have been a massacre of around one hundred innocent Vietnamese civilians by Cambodian soldiers. He became a news anchor for ABC’s Good Morning America and a professor of telecommunications at Ball State University. He passed away on January 25.

Richard (Dick) Miller was an American actor who reportedly featured in over 180 movies. His most recognizable roles were in GremlinsGremlins 2: The New BatchThe Little Shop of HorrorsNight of the Creeps, and The Terminator. He died of natural causes in his home in Los Angeles.

St. John is best known for his role as Neil Winters on daytime soap, The Young & The Restless, the most watched daytime drama, winning two Emmy’s for his work. He also won eleven NAACP Image Awards. St. John was found dead at his home in Los Angeles, with the cause of death listed as heart failure.

Adams was an actress, known for her role in Creature of the Black Lagoon, and her starring lead role as Eve Simpson in Murder, She Wrote. She passed away on February 3rd in Los Angeles, and is survived by two sons.

Finney was a British actor with an impressive five Oscar nominations over his lifetime. They were for Tom JonesMurder on the Orient ExpressThe DresserUnder the Volcano, and Erin Brockovich. He died of a chest infection in London, UK, on February 7th.

Argenziano had an illustrious acting career. He’s best known for his role as Jacob on Stargate SG-1. He also appeared in many television shows, including Cheers, Melrose Place, Criminal Minds, The Mentalist, and Hawaii Five-0. He died in Los Angeles on February 10th.

The iconic fashion designer was primarily known as the creative director of the fashion house, Chanel, where he worked until his death. Lagerfeld fell victim to complications of pancreatic cancer on February 19th.

Owen was an American TV actress, best known as the original Marilyn Munster on The Munsters. She died of ovarian cancer in Montpelier, Vermont, on February 21st.

Legendary Hollywood director, Stanley Donen, was best known for his movies On The Town and Singin’ In The Rain, which he co-directed alongside Gene Kelly. He also directed classics like 1957’s Funny Face, and 1954’s Seven Brides For Seven Brothers, and won a lifetime achievement Academy Award in 1998. Donen died on February 21st in New York City of heart failure.

Tork was a musician best known as the keyboardist and bass player of pop band, The Monkees. Tork announced that he’d been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called adenoid cystic carcinoma. Although he was successfully treated multiple times, he eventually succumbed to his illness on February 21st.

Sitcom star, Katherine Helmond, was nominated for an Emmy seven times. She was best known for her roles on Who’s The Boss, and Soap, alongside a guest appearance on Everybody Loves Raymond in 2002. Helmond died in her home in Los Angeles on February 23rd of Alzheimer’s disease.

The lead singer of UK electro-dance band, The Prodigy. Having struggled with depression all of his life, Flint died by suicide in his home in Essex, UK, on March 4th.

The actor was best known for his roles in Beverly Hills: 90210, and, more recently, on hit Netflix series, Riverdale. Perry died due to complications after having a stroke, in Los Angeles on the 4th of March.

Jed Allan was a legendary actor best known for his work in a range of popular soap operas. He played Don Craig on Days Of Our Lives, and Rush Sanders on Beverly Hills: 90210. Allan died at home in Palm Desert, California on March 9th, eight days after his eighty-fourth birthday.

Buechler was a legendary special effects artist, working on movies including Troll, Friday the 13th: Part VII, Halloween 4, and A Nightmare on Elm Street 4. He died of prostate cancer on March 18th.

Larry Cohen was a beloved director of a range of horror and sci-fi movies, including It’s Alive, Q, The Stuff, and Hell Up In Harlem. He died peacefully in his home in Beverly Hills on March 23rd.

Pilato was a horror movie star, known for his roles in films like Wishmaster and Effects. He was best known for his starring role in the horror classic Day of the Dead, directed by George Romero in 1985. He died in his sleep in Los Angeles on March 24th.

French filmmaking icon, Varda, was best known for pioneering the French New Wave movement, making films with signature realism and tackling important social issues. Varda was nominated for an Oscar for Best Director for her 2018 movie Faces Places. Varda died of cancer on March 29th in Paris.

Born Ermias Joseph Asghedom, Nipsey Hussle was a rapper, entrepreneur, and community activist who emerged on the West Coast hip hop scene in the mid ’00s. He was murdered for unknown reasons, shot by one Eric Holder, outside his Los Angeles clothing store on March 31st.

Regin was a Serbian actress, best known for her guest role in Bond movie, Goldfinger, and starring role in From Russia With Love. She died in London, UK, on April 6th.

Cassel was a legendary character actor and was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 1968 for drama movie, Faces. He was also well-known for his collaborative relationship with Wes Anderson and was cast in many of the director’s movies including The Royal Tenenbaums and Rushmore. He died on April 7th of Alzheimer’s disease.

Engel was a popular American actress best known for playing Georgette Franklin Baxter in smash hit sitcom, The Mary Tyler Moore Show. She was a firm follower of Christian Science, so when she fell ill, she did not consult a doctor, leaving her cause of death unknown. Engel passed on April 12th in Cape Charles, Virginia.

McKenzie was a legendary actress, starting work at just ten months old and working up until a year before her death. She died of natural causes in her sleep in Highland Park, Los Angeles, on April 16th and is survived by two children.

Alongside her husband, Ed, Lorraine Warren was a famous paranormal investigator involved in numerous high profile hauntings, including the Amityville Horror. She was played by Vera Famiga in The Conjuring film franchise. Warren died peacefully in her sleep in her home in Monroe, Connecticut.

Kercheval was an actor, best known for his role as Cliff Barnes on long-running soap opera, Dallas, plus its 2012 revival. Having survived lung cancer in 1994, Kercheval died from complications relating to pneumonia in Los Angeles on April 21st, 2001. He’s survived by three children and six grandchildren.

Singleton was a legendary screenwriter, director, and producer. In 1991, Singleton was nominated for the Best Director Academy Award for Boyz n the Hood. He was the first African-American to ever be nominated, and, at age twenty-four, he was also the youngest ever nominee. Singleton died on April 28th in Los Angeles after suffering a stroke.

The English-American actor was best known for his role as Chewbacca in the Star Wars film franchise. He had a heart attack at his home in Boyd, Texas on April 30th.

Sargent was a screenwriter best known for his work on three Spider Man movies. He’d also won two Oscars, one for 1977’s Julia, and 1981’s Ordinary People. He died of natural causes in his home in Seattle, Washington, on May 9th.

The huge Hollywood star was most known for her roles in musicals such as Calamity Jane, alongside her own sitcom The Doris Day Show. She was also a popular musician, with hit songs like “Que Sera Sera.” Day was also a social activist with many charity projects. She died after having contracted pneumonia on May 13th.

Tardar Sauce, better known as Grumpy Cat, was an internet celebrity known for her permanently annoyed facial expression caused by dwarfism and an underbite. She rose to fame on Reddit and became one of the earliest meme animals. She died of complications relating to a urinary tract infection on May 14th in Morristown, Arizona.

Actor, comedian, writer, and director, Conway, is best known for his work on The Carol Burnett Show, and eventually starring in The Tim Conway Show. He won four Emmys and a Golden Globe throughout his illustrious career. He died in Los Angeles on May 14th of complications of normal pressure hydrocephalus.

Lauda was an Austrian Formula One icon, winning the World Driver’s Champion award in 1975, 1977, and 1984. His rivalry with British driver, James Hunt, was the subject of the 2013 movie Rush, in which Lauda was played by Daniel Brühl. He died peacefully of complications related to kidney problems in Zurich, Switzerland on May 20th.

Caridi was an actor, best known for his role as Carmine Rosato in the movies The Godfather Part II and The Godfather Part III. Caridi also became the first person to be expelled from The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences due to a copyright infringement incident. He slipped into a coma and died in Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on May 28th.

Born Malcolm John Rebennack Jr., Dr. John was a pioneering blues, jazz, rock & roll, and boogie-woogie musician. He’d won six Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2011. Dr. John died of a heart attack in the early hours of June 6th in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Heiress, socialite, author, actress, and fashion designer, Gloria Vanderbilt, was a member of the high society Vanderbilt family. She was perhaps best known for her pioneering range of blue jeans and is the mother of CNN anchor, Anderson Cooper. Vanderbilt died of stomach cancer on June 17th in her native city of New York.

Cameron was best known for his roles in Disney productions such as the popular TV show, Jessie, and the movie franchise, Descendants. The star often shared his love for his family across all of his social media platforms and was well known for being a kind and charitable young man. He was only twenty years old when he passed away, a consequence of an epileptic seizure that he suffered in his sleep on July 6th.

Rip Torn, who famously portrayed the foul-mouthed Artie in the Larry Sanders Show, was an incredibly talented actor and was deemed “an unapologetic maverick and gifted actor whose singular presence on screens big and small was always welcome.” He passed away on July 9th.