1 person died in accident at Michigan air show involving jet-powered truck

One person is dead after an accident during the “pyrotechnic portion” of an air show in Michigan, police said.

The incident occurred Saturday shortly after 1 pm at the Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show and Balloon Festival, held at Battle Creek Executive Airport.

Chris Darnell, 40, died while driving a race truck dubbed the Shockwave Jet Truck during the air show, police said in an update Saturday evening. The accident is under investigation.

Dramatic video by attendees of the air show captured the truck racing two aircraft on the runway before the accident occurred. A small fire behind the truck can be seen as the vehicle slides past a large fireball and crashes.

“Oh boy, we’ve got an incident here with our Shockwave out here at Air Show Center,” the announcer can be heard saying following the accident.

One person died during the “pyrotechnic portion” of an air show in Battle Creek, Michigan, July 2, 2022.

Michael Mullet

The Battle Creek Fire Department, Battle Creek Police Department and Federal Aviation Administration responded to the scene, police said.

Police have not released any further information amid the investigation.

The remainder of Saturday’s air show was canceled “out of respect for the incident that has occurred,” Battle Creek Field of Flight said in a statement. Saturday evening’s activities were scheduled to resume at the festival, which runs through Monday.

Shockwave, a custom-built race truck, is owned by Darnell Racing Enterprises, based in Springfield, Missouri. ABC News has reached out to the company for comment.

The truck, which was equipped with three flame-shooting jet engines, was capable of racing at over 350 mph, according to its owners. It frequently appeared at air show and drag racing exhibitions across the country.

Darnell was involved in motorsports “his entire life,” according to a bio on Darnell Racing’s website, and worked with his father in the business.

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