Stunt Driver Dies Racing Planes at Air Show

Shockwave truck spun out of control at Battle Creek event
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 4, 2022 10:41 AM CDT

(Newser) – A stunt truck driver was killed in a crash in front of a horrified crowd at a Michigan air show on Saturday. The jet engine-powered Shockwave truck, a familiar sight at air shows across the US, spun out of control, caught fire, and rolled over while it was speeding down the runway at the Battle Creek airport, racing two planes at more than 300mph, CNN reports. Driver Chris Parnell, 40, died. The Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show and Balloon Festival says performances for the rest of the day were canceled after the accident.

Police said they are investigating the crash, as is the Battle Creek fire department. Father Neal Darnell, who shared driving duties with Chris, his youngest son, said the crash was the result of mechanical failure, MLive.com reports. "We are so sad,” Neal Darnell said in a Facebook post Saturday evening. "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." (Read more air show stories.)

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