Battle Creek air show jet truck crash.

Battle Creek air show jet truck crash.
Battle Creek air show jet truck crash.

Officials have identified Chris Darnell, 40, as the victim of a fiery crash at the Battle Creek Air Show and Balloon Festival.

At about 1:10 p.m., Darnell was driving a Shockwave jet truck at 300 mph down the runway at Representative Airport in Battle Creek during a performance Saturday, July 2, when the fatal crash occurred, Battle Creek police said.

Police did not provide additional information about the death.

Video of the speech shows Darnell driving past an explosion on the runway, then his truck catching fire and rolling.
The Battle Creek Fire Department, the Battle Creek Police Department and the Federal Aviation Administration investigated the accident Saturday.

After Darnell’s death, condolences spilled out on social media.

“Chris Darnell, a SHOCKWAVE jet truck driver, competed with us for many years and was a major contributor to the air show. His love of motorsports and passion for his craft has always been an inspiration to us and those around him,” the Air Force Thunderbirds said in a statement.

Summit Motorsports Park in Ohio called Darnell a son, brother, husband, father and popular entertainer.

“His passion for putting on the best show for fans and connecting with them was evident,” the report said.

The rest of the festival’s air shows were canceled Saturday, but scheduled air shows will resume Sunday, officials said.

“We regret that we had to cancel some of the air shows today, but it was done for safety and respect reasons,” festival organizers said in a Facebook post.

Saturday evening events, including live music and one of the largest fireworks displays in the state, will continue. The five-day festival will run through Monday, July 4.