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Hot Air Balloon Accident Victims Mourned

When a friend, or neighbor, or even a member of your own community dies in an unfortunate accident, it seems to hit just that much closer to home.  It reminds us how fragile life is and how an accident can happen at any time to anyone.  

Last week, the deadliest hot air balloon crash in history took the lives of 16 people after the balloon’s gondola crashed into a high tension power line. At least three of the victims were from Houston.

According to federal officials, with the National Transportation Safety Board, investigators confirmed Sunday evening that the hot-air balloon hit the high tension power lines burst into flames and then crashed into a pasture ground near Lockhart, about 30 miles south of Austin.

“There is evidence that some component of the balloon hit the wires — not the tower,” said NTSB member Robert Sumwalt.

Authorities have not released any names of victims stating that dental records will need to be used in order to positively identify the victims.  However, the friends and family members of some of the victims, including a couple that married just this past February and who lived in the Houston area have begun the grieving process and have posted on social media sites such as Facebook.   So far, seven of the 16 people killed have been identified in this manner.

Officials have released the name of the pilot of the balloon that crashed. Alfred G. “Skip” Nichols.  Officials indicate that prior to the tragic fatal balloon crash, Nichols had DUI arrests in 200 and 2002 in the state of Missouri. Nichols had also been previously been sued Nichols crashed landed his hot air balloon in a St. Louis suburb.

Following the fatal crash, Nichols’ balloon company cancelled flights “for the foreseeable future”

Even though accidents involving aircraft are statistically rare, such accidents often happen where lives are tragically lost. This causes the survivors left behind to be forever changed and often struggling to find a way to carry on.

If you or a loved one has been injured or tragically lost in an aviation accident, give our offices a call.  Our lawyers will fight for your right for compensation for damages, damages due to medical bills, pain and suffering and wrongful death. We are here to help you.  Your initial consultation and legal analysis are free.

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