Jet truck driver killed at Michigan air show had just performed in Warriors Over the Wasatch at Hill AFB

Chris Darnell and his Shockwave truck. Photos:; Air Force Thunderbirds/Facebook

BATTLE CREEK, Michigan, July 3, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — Chris Darnell, who performed last weekend at the Warriors Over the Wasatch airshow at Hill Airforce Base, died Saturday in a fiery crash at an airshow in Battle Creek Michigan.

Darnell was the driver of a jet-powered truck called Shockwave. He died, just six days after his June 26 Utah performance in Utah.

At the Michigan show, he was flying under aircraft directly over his vehicle in a short race. Shockwave was traveling at 300 mph, according to a UPI report.

Darnell’s father, Neal, posted a statement Saturday on the act’s Facebook page.

“During today’s SHOCKWAVE Jet Truck performance at the Battle Creek Field of Flight Airshow an accident occurred as a result of a mechanical failure on the Jet Truck.

“Regretfully Chris Darnell — the driver and my youngest son — passed away from his injuries at approximately 1:01 pm. No one else was involved.

Funeral arrangements are pending, Neal Darnell wrote.

“We are so sad. Just one month ago Chris turned 40. He was so well loved by everyone who knew him. Chris so loved the Air Show business. He was ‘Living the Dream,’ as he said.”

Chris Darnell. Photo: Air Force Thunderbirds/Facebook

The Air Force Thunderbirds also posted a statement Saturday on its Facebook page.

“We are saddened to hear about the loss of our close friend, and fellow demo performer, today in a tragic mishap during the Field of Flight Air Show in Battle Creek, Michigan.

“Chris Darnell, the driver of the SHOCKWAVE Jet Truck, has been performing alongside us for many years and has been a staple of the Air Show community.

“His love for motorsports and passion for his craft always inspired us and those around him.

“The collective hearts of the U. S. Air Force Thunderbirds are with Chris, his family, his friends, and his entire demonstration team at this time.”

The UPI story on the fatal explosion shared a airshow attendees’ video. It is disturbing. Watch it at your own discretion.


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