Horrific hot air balloon crash kills 16 in Texas

16 people are dead following a hot air balloon crash near Lockhart, Texas, early Saturday morning.

The Federal Aviation Administration is still piecing together the details of the deadly crash, but has reported that the balloon struck a high-voltage power line, caught fire and crashed in a pasture.

Federal authorities won’t publicly name the pilot, but friends and co-workers have identified him as 49-year-old Alfred “Skip” Nichols. Investigations into the pilot’s past have unearthed a felony DWI charge in 2000 out of Missouri and a warning from the Better Business Bureau about doing business with the balloon touring company he used to operate out of that state.

Ground crews at the balloon’s launch site told investigators that they launched about 20 minutes late. The balloon traveled approximately 8 miles from takeoff to crash, and the basket was found almost three-quarters of a mile from the balloon itself.

An FBI evidence response team found 14 cellphones, one iPad and three cameras among the wreckage. The devices have been sent to a lab for further investigation.

Witnesses describe seeing the balloon above, engulfed in flames. One woman, who was outside her home at the time heard what she says was a series of loud popping noises.

Saturday’s crash is reported to be one of the worst hot air balloon accidents on record.

What The Carlson Law Firm can do for you

Have you or someone you love been injured or killed due to the negligence of another? Under Texas law, victims and their families are able to receive compensation for the wrongful death of another individual to care for those who are suffering and facing heartache as a result of the accident. However, proving liability can be difficult. It is important that you seek out the help of a knowledgeable and dedicated lawyer. At The Carlson Law Firm, we are diligent in our pursuit of investigating negligence and wrongful death cases. Contact us today to discuss your case.


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