Four ambulances, three Greene County Sheriff's deputies, a couple of Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers, a firetruck and a few more emergency vehicles descended on a farm just east of Springfield on Monday afternoon.
Authorities had received a report of a possible plane crash in the area, so dispatchers — fearing the worst — sent a lot of emergency responders.
But what the callers — who are new to the neighborhood — thought was a plane crash beyond the tree-line south of their property ended up being a bath for Shockwave, the jet-powered semi-truck that tops out at 376 miles per hour.
Shockwave's owner, Neal Darnell, said he raced the vehicle — which looks like a fighter plane and a semi-truck had a baby — on a dirt course last week, so the truck needed to be washed on Monday.
Part of that washing process means firing up the jet engines on the back of the 36,000-horsepower truck, and that makes for some loud noises and a cloud of white smoke outside of Darnell's garage on Farm Road 205.
"We do it from time to time and it will usually generate a couple of 911 calls, but today for some reason it brought out a whole army of emergency vehicles," Darnell said. "And I hate that because they have better things to do than come out here."
The new neighbors said next time they will know that those jet-like noises just mean it's bath time for Darnell's racing truck.
Darnell said he doesn't blame the neighbors for being concerned. Even though the world-renowned jet truck has been featured in magazines and a cable TV show, most people have no idea Shockwave calls Springfield home.
Darnell said he has had Shockwave for about three years and he and his son take the truck to shows all over the country — where they do things like setting stacks of cars on fire or racing fighter planes.
Darnell — who has been drag-racing his whole life — said Shockwave started as a hobby but has now turned into a "crazy business."
The Darnells also have two smaller jet-powered pick-up trucks in the garage.
Darnell showed the first-responders his trucks and gave them fliers for his website (ShockwaveJetTruck.com) on Monday along with his apology for having wasted their time.
A deputy on scene said no citations were issued and the 911 callers were acting in good faith because they genuinely believed someone might be in danger.
Darnell said the deputies and emergency medical technicians were friendly once they found out there weren't any downed planes in his yard — but instead the roaring engines of the fastest jet-powered semi-truck in the world.
"The cops thought it was cool," Darnell said. "They said, 'Boy, we wish we would have been here 25 minutes ago so we would have been able to see it.'"
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