One Dead At Michigan Air Show After Explosion

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A day at an air show can be a fun family event. You and the kids get to see airplanes do extraordinary things and it’s usually just good, clean fun. That wasn’t the case, however, at a recent air show in Michigan.

It wasn’t an airplane that crashed. No, this time, it was a truck, that simply exploded right in front of everyone. 40-year-old Chris Darnell was driving a Shockwave Jet Truck and racing two jet planes around 1:10 pm, when his truck exploded in front of the crowd of onlookers at the Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show and Balloon Festival last weekend. Reportedly, he was traveling at a speed of more than 300 mph.

Courtesy of Good Morning America via

The Michigan air show is known as one of the largest air shows in the country. The truck Darnell was driving was part of the show, the truck being advertised as the only triple jet engine truck.

The show was suspended for emergency crews to respond. Other events at the show, however, continued and the air show resumed the next day and was expected to go into the Fourth of July, reports Fox News.

Several tributes were tweeted out to Mr. Darnell: “The airshow community lost a legend today. Chris Darnell and the shockwave jet truck provided endless entertainment and excitement every time he’d visit the homecoming Airshow at the end of the year. You’ll be forever remembered Chris.”

And another: “i grew up watching shockwave and in my 20 years of living i never thought i’d see it go, a truly horrific accident. r.i.p Chris Darnell[.]”

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What a terrible tragedy, and for it to happen while families with children watched is ever worse. It would be difficult to enjoy the festivities after that happened. Was it right for them to continue the show? Would you have stayed?

Stacey Warner

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