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One dead in accident at Battle Creek Field of Flight


Authorities are investigating the accident, which happened Saturday afternoon

One person was killed in an accident at the Battle Creek Field of Flight on Saturday.

A news release from the city of Battle Creek says the 40 year old Chris Darnell was killed in the explosion.

See the full news release below:

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — Chris Darnell, 40, died today during the air show at the Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show and Balloon Festival.

Darnell's death is confirmed by Battle Creek Police, Battle Creek Fire, and Field of Flight officials.

Darnell drives the SHOCKWAVE Jet Truck during the air show; it races over 300 mph down the runway at the Battle Creek Executive Airport, where Field of Flight activities take place.

At about 1:10 p.m. today, during Darnell's performance in the air show, an accident happened that resulted in his death.

The accident remains under investigation, with no new information available. Battle Creek Fire, Battle Creek Police, and Federal Aviation Administration Officials continue to investigate.

The remaining air show performances were canceled today; the air show will return on Sunday. The remaining Saturday evening activities will continue as scheduled today, as well as all activities on the schedule for July 3 and 4. See more information at


The Battle Creek Enquirer reports that the explosion happened during a performance by Shockwave Jet Truck, a jet-fueled semi-truck.

In a Facebook post, Field of Flight announced that the air space was closed, and "we are on hold."

Gordon Evans became WMUK's Content Director in 2019 after more than 20 years as an anchor, host and reporter. A 1990 graduate of Michigan State, he began work at WMUK in 1996.