Unfortunately, one man has been killed after his jet truck burst during an act of defiance at an airshow in Western Michigan.
Chris Darnell, 40, was killed while driving a jet-powered semi-truck in a stunt that ended in flames while two planes flew in the air above the truck. The accident occurred at 1: 10 p.m. at the Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show and Balloon Festival in Battle Creek, Michigan, WXYZ reported.
A bystander at the airshow captured video footage of the accident.
an accident at the airport today that left at least one person dead. pic.twitter.com/16qI3TQqkE
— sam landstra (@samlandstra) July 2, 2022
It is unclear the exact cause of the accident, which is currently under investigation, according to WXYZ. After the explosion, the show was stopped.
Darnell’s father, Sean, in a post through the Shockwave Jet Truck & Flash Fire Jet Trucks Facebook page, blamed the accident on “mechanical failure.”
He said later, “We’re so sorry. Just one month ago Chris turned 40. Everyone who knew Chris loved him so much. Chris loved Air Show so much.
Darnell’s father paid further tribute to his son in another Facebook post on his personal page:
Marilyn and I and Brooke, Reese and Taylor have been overwhelmed with all the condolences sent from all around the country. Literally thousands have reached out. Each one of you is important to us. Our youngest son, Chris, was killed in an accident while performing with SHOCKWAVE. Chris loved his Drag Racing Family and the Air Show.
Chris has left behind two daughters and a spouse, according to his father.
Darnell had been operating the Jet Truck involved in the crash since 2012, NBC News reported, citing the International Council of Air Shows. “The vehicle is based on a 1985 Peterbilt and powered by three J-34 jet engines,” the outlet noted.
Ryan Travers, a board member for the airshow, told Fox 17 the truck can reach speeds of up to 300 miles per hour during the stunt.
” It’s a terrible tragedy. It will be difficult to forget it. It’s hard to know. It’s hard to put into words right now. Travers stated that he felt for Travers’ family. We saw the worst, and it was something we didn’t expect .”
You can follow Ethan Letkeman on Twitter at @EthanLetkeman.