The pilot who was operating the hot air balloon that crashed and caught fire killing 15 passengers has been identified. Skip Nichols of Heart of Texas Hot Air Balloon Rides is the man Texas officials have named as the accident’s pilot.
After a hot air balloon crashed July 30 into a pasture and caught fire, 16 people were pronounced dead. The pilot has been identified as Skip Nichols, but officials have not released any other information on the victims, Daily Mail reports. “The tragedy is now the single deadliest hot air balloon crash in the US after an incident in Colorado left six dead in 1993,” the site reports.
Reports claim the hot air balloon may have hit power lines before it erupted into flames, CNN mentioned. An eye witness described the crash in a frightening statement. “‘First I heard a whoosh,’ Margaret Wylie, who lives near the crash site, told CNN affiliate TWC.” She went on to explain, “And then a big ball of fire (went) up. I’d say it got as high up as those lower electric lines.” So scary. The site reports the the scene is “now secured for evidence collection,” as “the NTSB says it is working with the FBI to document the scene.”
The accident happened shortly after 7:40 AM near Lockhart, TX and investigators are determining the identities of the victims.
As this story develops we will keep you updated. At this time, our thoughts are with the friends and families of the victims. HollywoodLifers, you can leave your thoughts in the comments below.