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Former MythBusters star and professional racer Jessi Combs has died at the age of 36 during a land-speed record attempt. Combs was in Oregon's Alvord Desert vying to break the women's land-speed record set there by Kitty O'Neil in 1976.
Combs previously broke records in the women's four-wheel category on the area's 13-mile course. She returned with a new jet-powered vehicle earlier this month:
In his post on Instagram, Madden wrote that Combs 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!!" Madden continued. "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 non[sic] of them." He then implored fans to avoid donating to any causes that would seek to profit off of Combs' death.
Combs helped host and run tests during the seventh season of MythBusters, taking over for host Kari Byron when she went on maternity leave from Discovery's long-running science show. Combs helped out for 12 episodes as an expert creator of, well, everything. She later hosted Science Channel's How to Build ... Everything and was remembered for her skills by co-workers and fans alike.
Many ex-MythBusters paid tribute to Combs, including Byron and Adam Savage: