Balloonist Killed In Festival Accident
Canadian police aren't saying exactly how a young hot air balloon pilot died at a major balloon festival south of Montreal on Sunday but he wasn't in his own balloon. The QMI Agency is reporting that 26-year-old Maxime Trepanier had already landed and was helping another crew land their balloon when he was somehow launched into the air and then fell to his death. "Was (Trepanier) close to the balloon, was he inside? All that remains to be confirmed," police Sgt. Audrey-Anne Bilodeau told reporters. Trepanier was taking part in the International Balloon Festival in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. His parents are avid balloonists and Trepanier grew up helping out at the event, which draws 450,000 spectators annually.
QMI says Trepanier was "lifted into the air by a cable and fell to his death moments later." He was an experienced pilot and the father of young children. Flying was suspended for the balance of Sunday but will continue on the wishes of the family. It runs until Aug. 18.