Photo of hot air balloon from user cell phone video
DOSWELL, Va. (AP) - Virginia state police say they have found the body of the third passenger of a hot air balloon that drifted into a power line, burst into flames and fell into a heavily wooded area about 25 miles north of Richmond.
State police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said the searchers found the body at 11 a.m. Sunday. The two other passengers had previously been found.
Police have not released the victims' names, but family members and the University of Richmond said associate head coach Ginny Doyle and director of basketball operations Natalie Lewis were passengers. Veteran hot air balloon pilot Daniel T. Kirk was at the controls.
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Virginia State Police Press Release
At 6:30 a.m. Sunday (May 11), full-scale search efforts for the third person and balloon wreckage resumed in Caroline County, Va. The 100-plus personnel from Virginia State Police, Caroline County Sheriff’s Office, Caroline County Fire and Rescue, Virginia Department of Emergency Management, Civil Air Patrol, and multiple search-and-rescue teams (to include canine teams) fanned out across the area near Caroline Pines Subdivision to expand their search efforts.
On Saturday, search teams spent the day conducting targeted grid searches that covered roughly an area 1/4 of a mile wide and three miles long. The grid searching is done by foot and is a very meticulous and methodical process. On Sunday morning, teams continued those efforts. At about 11 a.m., Sunday, the remains of the third occupant were discovered. This discovery was approximately 100 yards north of where the second occupant was found Saturday.
Now that the male pilot and two female passengers have all been located, this concludes the large-scale search efforts of the operation. Virginia State Police and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigators are now concentrating on locating the balloon wreckage and evidence collection.
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