Shockwave Jet Truck driver dies during performance weeks before Duluth Airshow

Published: Jul. 4, 2022 at 2:22 PM CDT
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BATTLE CREEK, MI -- A man who was scheduled to perform at the Duluth Airshow this month died in a tragic crash in Michigan.

It happened around 1:10 p.m. Saturday at an air show in Battle Creek, Michigan.

Authorities say Chris Darnell, 40, was driving the SHOCKWAVE jet truck and racing two airplanes at 300 miles an hour.

SHOCKWAVE Jet Truck crash
SHOCKWAVE Jet Truck crash(CBS Newspath)

During this maneuver, the jet truck flipped off the runway, and caught fire.

Darnell died on the scene.

In a Saturday post to the SHOCKWAVE Jet Truck Facebook page, Darnell’s father stated the accident happened because of a “mechanical failure on the Jet Truck.”

The Federal Aviation Administration, Battle Creek police and fire departments are continuing to investigate the incident.

In a Facebook post, Duluth Airshow organizer Ryan Kern called Darnell a friend, consummate professional, and as laid back as they come.

Chris Darnell poses with Duluth Airshow organizer Ryan Kern.
Chris Darnell poses with Duluth Airshow organizer Ryan Kern.(Ryan Kern)

He sent his sympathies to Darnell’s family.

The Field of Flight Airshow and Balloon Festival reopened Saturday, featuring an entire day of tributes to Darnell.

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