Jessi Combs, the fastest woman on wheels died in a horrendous fireball as her jet powered car crashed attempting to smash the world land speed record.
Cops and forensic experts are trawling through the wreckage of the North American Eagle Supersonic Speed Challenger to find out what caused the crash.
Combs was targeting the 512 mph land speed record for women set in 1976 when she died. She had posted on social media prior to the test run that she was aiming to shatter the record by at least 100 mph.
What triggered the crash is unknown, but the crash team are examining onboard computers and the car’s parts to try to reconstruct what happened.
She was driving her 56 foot long 52,000 jet car that guzzles 160 gallons of fuel every minute across the dried bed of a lake in the Alvord Desert, Oregon, USA, when the vehicle burst into flames and crashed.
Quest for speed
The car is more of a jet engine on wheels with a small cockpit for the driver attached.
Investigators are trying to work out if the fire or crash came first.
American Combs, 36, was a respected and accomplished racing driver well known as a TV presenter.
She had set several women’s land speed records between 2013 and 2016, reaching a top speed of 477mph.
In the days before her death, Combs seemed excited about her record attempt.
“Sometimes I just gotta push the noise out, turn my head, and get to work,” she messaged with an Instagram image.
“Big things happening…hopefully super-fast things.”
Living the dream
Poignantly, she also wrote online: ““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.”
Her TV career included a long stint fronting Xtreme4x4, where she demonstrated engineering and driving skills building and modifying cars for off-road racing.
“Jessi’s most notable dream was to become the fastest woman on Earth, a dream she had been chasing since 2012… and she left this Earth driving faster than any other woman in history,” her family said in a statement after the crash.