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The Tragic Death Of The Fastest Woman On Earth

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The late Jessica "Jessi" Combs was a pioneer: she'd been the face of several television shows and proved her mettle as a race car driver, determined to inspire more women to give racing a shot. Sadly, though, her relentless pursuit of excellence ended in tragedy.

On August 27, 2019, Combs attempted to break the world land speed record - and she succeeded, clocking in at 522.783 miles per hour. That set a new Guinness World Record for the fastest ever recorded by a woman, breaking a mark that had been set by stuntwoman Kitty O'Neil way back in 1976.

Tragically, though, her vehicle suffered a mechanical failure after reaching that speed. Despite the efforts of first responders, Combs was killed in the accident. She was just 39.

According to a press release form the Harney County Sheriff's Office in Oregon, where the crash occurred, the investigation revealed that the vehicle experienced catastrophic failure after apparently hitting something in the desert. It read in part

"Based on the evidence collected and examined at the scene of the crash and the evidence recovered by the North American Race Team it appears that there was a mechanical failure of the front wheel, most likely caused from striking an object on the desert. The front wheel failure led to the front wheel assembly collapsing."

The 2019 attempt was supposed to be Combs's final attempt at achieving the record. And despite the danger, she went into the attempt determined and unafraid. Just days before the accident, she posted on Instagram,

"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."

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