Investigators have uncovered more details leading up to what officials are calling the deadliest hot air balloon accident in U.S. history. Sixteen people were killed last Saturday in Texas after the hot air balloon crashed into power lines. The balloon ride was owned and operated by Heart of Texas Hot Air Balloon Rides in San Marcos, Texas.
According to details released by investigators, fifteen passengers gathered at the San Marcos Wal-Mart parking lot early Saturday morning at 5:45 a.m. to met up with the balloon operator. The group then traveled to Fentress Texas Airpark. According to the ground crew statements, the launch was 20 minutes behind and did not take off until around 7:00 a.m. The balloon came into contact with electrical wires at 7:42 a.m. Witness says it went up in flames. The hot air balloon with sixteen passengers, including the pilot, traveled just eight miles before it crashed, killing everyone on board. The basket was discovered nearly three-quarters of a mile away from the balloon.
According to the NTSB and other medical professionals, identification of the victims will take some time. The Federal Aviation Administration database lists the former Missouri pilot a commercial pilot and owner of Air Balloon Sports LLC, in Chesterfield before he moved to Texas. Friends of the pilot claim he was a good man and a great pilot. The pilot told friends he was leaving the St. Louis area to Texas because of competition.
Catastrophic events such as this one, leave unimaginable pain, suffering, and loss. The personal injury attorneys at Meyerkord & Kurth, LLC, help people when they need it the most. If you are faced with the aftermath of a catastrophic accident, please contact Meyerkord & Kurth, LLC, today and let us share with you how we can provide legal support during this time.