Searchers have found the body of the third and final victim of the hot air balloon crash that took the lives of three people this past Friday, May 9, 2014 in Virginia.
Thirteen hot air balloons took off from a balloon festival in Richmond, Virginia this past Friday, May 9. One of the balloons was piloted by 65 year-old Army Lt. Col. Daniel Kirk, with 24 year-old Natalie Lewis and 44 year-old Ginny Doyle as passengers. Lewis is an operations manager and Doyle is an assistant coach for the women’s basketball team of the University of Richmond.
The hot air balloon party ran into trouble when the balloon accidentally came into contact with a live electrical wire near its landing area in rural Caroline County, Virginia. The basket of the balloon quickly caught fire and Lewis and Doyle jumped out while high above ground. Over 100 rescuers from the Virginia State Police and the National Transportation Safety Board searched for the victims for two days, until the body of the last victim was recovered. Law enforcement officials announced that they are now switching their efforts to investigation and collection of evidence.
This latest accident may renew the battle over whether hot air balloon operators should be subject to mandatory evaluation of their abilities at operating a hot air balloon.
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