Jet Truck Driver Dies in Michigan Air Show Accident

A jet truck driver died in a crash Saturday after racing with two airplanes at a Michigan air show.

Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show and Balloon Festival executive director Barbara Haluszka said the jet truck flipped, killing its driver Chris Darnell, 40.

The driver’s father, Neal Darnell, said a mechanical failure caused the accident.

The jet truck that could go at a maximum of 350 miles per hour was equipped with three jet engines and a combined 36,000 horsepower.

A video uploaded online showed the jet truck running behind a fireball before it crashed. Haluszka said the fireball was pyrotechnics set on the grass and not on the runway.

“From the crowd’s side, it looks like he’s driving straight through the pyro. But he’s not,” Haluszka said.

Ryan Traver, a festival board member, said he could not say whether the pyrotechnics had anything to do with the accident.

The Battle Creek Police Department has been investigating the accident.


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