Stunned spectators, at the Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show & Balloon Festival, reported seeing a “flame-out” at the rear of the Shockwave Jet Truck before it exploded and crashed in flames on Saturday, July 2nd. Just days later, the cause of the tragic accident has been revealed. 

Neal Darnell, the father of Chris Darnell, the jet engine-powered semi-truck driver who died during a performance at the Battle Creek air show, says the truck burst into flames after a blown tire ruptured the fuel tank. 

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 Police say 40-year-old Chris Darnell died in the accident Saturday during a race between the Shockwave Jet Truck and two airplanes during the air show.  Neal Darnell, told The Associated Press Tuesday that the accident occurred after a tire came apart and "ruptured the fuel tank on the left side of the car. It happened so quickly that Chris didn't even have time to react.” Neal Darnell, who also drives the Shockwave, said he concluded what happened after watching a video of the accident and inspecting the jet truck. He said this was the only accident Darnell Racing Enterprises has had in 20 years. 

Darnell said,

Most people don’t like their jobs. Chris loved his job. He would say on a fairly regular basis that he was living the dream and I loved that for him. 

The family is waiting for an autopsy report to learn the official cause of death. Chris Darnell leaves behind his wife and two young daughters. A GoFundMe page has been set up for the family. 

Shockwave Jet Truck Accident At Battle Creek Air Show

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