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Jet Truck driver dies in accident at Michigan air show

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The driving force of a jet-powered semitruck died when the car crashed in a fiery accident in Michigan on Saturday, police mentioned.

Battle Creek police recognized the sufferer as Chris Darnell, 40, who was behind the wheel of the Shockwave Jet Truck when it raced by or by an explosion and gave the impression to be in flames, producing a streak of smoke and particles recorded on video.

It wasn’t clear if that first burst of flames, which created a cloud of black smoke, was a part of the anticipated show on the annual Battle Creek Subject of Gentle Air Present and Balloon Pageant. The state government’s website promotes the occasion and notes that it options “pyro and the WALL OF FIRE.”

Two prop planes had been performing aerial tips and flying low above the truck because it raced down a runway on the Battle Creek Government Airport when the accident occurred.

In a publish on the Jet Truck Facebook web page, Darnell’s father, Neal Darnell, blamed mechanical failure for the accident.

“We’re so unhappy,” Darnell mentioned within the publish. “Only one month in the past Chris turned 40. He was so effectively cherished by everybody who knew him. Chris so cherished the Air Present enterprise. He was ‘Residing the Dream’ as he mentioned.”

The truck was created by the late Les Shockley, mentioned to be the pioneer of jet vans, and operated by the Darnell’s since 2012, based on the Worldwide Council of Air Reveals. The car relies on a 1985 Peterbilt and powered by three J-34 jet engines, based on the council.

The semitruck is claimed to have the ability to exceed 300 mph. Chris Darnell claimed to carry the jet truck pace file, 375 mph, achieved in his workforce’s Flash Hearth jet-modified pickup in 2005 in Florida.

No different accidents had been reported following the crash, reported shortly after 1 p.m. Saturday.

Police mentioned organizers canceled the remainder of the day’s air present however that different festivities would proceed as scheduled by the competition’s finish Monday.

The occasion additionally contains music performances and fireworks.

Battle Creek police, fireplace and the Federal Aviation Administration had been investigating the crash and the trigger, police mentioned.

Michelle Acevedo contributed.