Bodies Recovered In Fatal Balloon Crash

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Jim Cox/Associated Press

Jim Cox/Associated Press

The body of the pilot of a hot air balloon that caught fire at a Virginia balloon festival was found Sunday. Daniel T. Kirk was an experienced pilot and witnesses said he did everything possible to keep the balloon from climbing after it struck power lines and the basket ignited Friday night. The bodies of his passengers, University of Richmond athletics department officials Ginny Doyle and Natalie Lewis were found Saturday. The balloon was taking part in a pre-event for the Mid-Atlantic Balloon Festival, which was due to begin on Saturday morning. 

A witness, Carrie Hager-Bradley, told WWBT TV that she saw the balloon in flames on her way home from the grocery store and heard people screaming for help. "They were just screaming for anybody to help them," Hager-Bradley told the TV station. The accident occurred near Doswell, which is in Virginia horse country north of Richmond.  

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