One Killed in Truck Incident at Michigan Air Show

A man was killed after the jet-powered truck he was racing exploded during an event at an air show in Battle Creek, Michigan, on Saturday, July 2.

Local police said the deceased, 40 year-old Chris Darnell, was driving a Shockwave Jet Truck at Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show and Balloon Festival. An investigation into the cause of the incident was being conducted by police, fire and federal aviation authorities, police said.

Footage by Michael Mullet shows the truck racing two planes down the tarmac at the Battle Creek Executive Airport at Kellogg Field before it bursts into flames and rolls off onto an adjacent field.

The large explosion seen in the video was part of a planned pyrotechnic aspect of the event, reports said. Credit: Michael Mullet via Storyful

Video transcript

- You know, I think about these airplanes buzzing around him and all that stuff. And I think that Chris is thinking, that's just about me, like some flies he's gotta swat out of the way, as we watch out there in that monster truck, three big jet engines on that, as we watch them down in the right end zone.

The trick is that he will be at a standing start. Our airplanes will fly by at cruise speed. Once the aircraft go by, then Chris will put on the hammer and will accelerate out from air show right, ladies and gentlemen. This is the Top Gun Shockwave Jet Truck, the king of the jet trucks, as we watch out here in air show right.

Coming down our show line out here. He's got the smoke coming out of the stacks. His starter is standing there. He's getting the sign.

The airplanes are coming. Hey, they're flying upside down. Both Bill and Rob are inverted as they go by. As they pass him, you can see it. Here comes the Shockwave.

He is coming fast. He is coming really fast. He's catching up. Looks like he has caught Bill Stein.

He's coming up on Holland. Well, he passed Rob Holland. He did not catch Bill Stein. Oh, boy.

- Oh my god.

- Got a incident here with the Shockwave out here at Air Show Center. We're gonna have our emergency team. We'll take care of that, folks.

Again, please just stand back and let our emergency teams take care of this. They'll be out here momentarily to take care of this situation. So again, folks, we appreciate your cooperation and your understanding as we can see out here at Show Center. Thank you.


- [INAUDIBLE] not gonna go against you now.


- All right, again, folks. Again, we certainly appreciate your cooperation here. We do have our sup--