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One dead after ‘jet truck’ crash at Michigan air show, police say

July 2, 2022 Updated Sat., July 2, 2022 at 8:59 p.m.

Mike Wiskus Lucas Oil plane makes a diving pass over the Shockwave Jet Truck, Monday, September 2, 2019.  (TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE)
Mike Wiskus Lucas Oil plane makes a diving pass over the Shockwave Jet Truck, Monday, September 2, 2019. (TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE)
By James Bikales Washington Post

One person is dead after a semitruck powered by jet engines crashed while racing two planes at an air show in Battle Creek, Michigan, on Saturday afternoon.

The Battle Creek Police Department confirmed on Facebook that the incident at the Battle Creek Executive Airport “has resulted in a death.” Police, firefighters and Federal Aviation Administration officials are investigating the scene, the police department said.

The Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show and Balloon Festival’s Facebook page said the rest of the day’s show had been canceled.

Video from witnesses appeared to show an explosion while the truck was speeding down the runway. The truck then passed through the flames before crashing. It was not clear whether the explosion was planned.

Suze Gusching, a spokesperson for the air show, told the Battle Creek Enquirer that the truck was “doing his show and going down the runway,” then “he passed by the explosion, and his truck had exploded.”

According to the air show’s schedule, the Shockwave Jet Truck was scheduled to perform Saturday afternoon. The racing team’s website advertises it as “the world’s only triple engine jet truck,” a modified semi equipped with three engines, originally from a U.S. Navy plane, giving it 36,000 horsepower. It can travel at more than 350 miles per hour and frequently races planes at air shows, the website said.

The five-day show over the holiday weekend is scheduled to feature the U.S. Air Force’s demonstration team, the Thunderbirds, as well as demonstrations of the Navy and Air Force’s newest jet, the F-35 Lightning II.

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