Jessi Combs, a professional speed racer and former host of "Mythbusters," died Tuesday in a crash on the Alvord Desert in Oregon as she was in a jet car attempting to break a land-speed record, authorities said.
She was 39.
The Harney County Sheriff's Office said it was called to the scene of the fatal crash in the desert about 90 miles south of Burns, Oregon, around 4 p.m. Tuesday. She was pursuing a record on a dry lake bed in Oregon, her family said in a statement.
Combs, who was the lead driver on the North American Eagle racing team, was identified as the sole fatality connected with the accident, which is under investigation.
"Jessi’s bright smile, positivity, and tenacious pursuit of her dreams inspired everyone who met her," her family said. "Her drive and spirit were infectious, and she served as a role model for young girls and women around the world."
Combs was surrounded by her friends and family at the time of her death.
"People that loved her and followed her became family, all bonded together by adventure and passion," her family said. "Her fans adored her, and she lived to inspire them."
Her most notable dream, one that she had been chasing since 2012, was to become the fastest woman on earth, according to her family.