Virginia state police investigate balloon crash, University of Richmond mourns two of its own

Ginny Doyle, left,  and Natalie Lewis (undated photo courtesy of Richmond Athletics)

Ginny Doyle, left,
and Natalie Lewis
(undated photo courtesy of
Richmond Athletics)

 

 

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. WFIR’s Velvet Hall has the latest:

05-12-14 BALLOON CRASH #1-WEB

 

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.

——————–

DOSWELL, Va. (AP) _ The Delaware man who piloted a hot air balloon that caught fire and crashed about 25 miles north of Richmond on Friday had decades of flying experience. The website of Daniel T. Kirk’s company says he had more than 20 years’ experience as a hot air balloon pilot and had flown in ballooning events throughout the country.

The Starship Adventures website also said that Kirk had a commercial balloon pilot license issued by the Federal Aviation Administration. Kirk’s father, Donald Kirk, confirmed that his son was the pilot of the doomed balloon. Fellow pilots said Daniel Kirk was known affectionately as “Capt. Kirk,” the hammy commander of the USS Enterprise on the TV series Star Trek.

——————–

PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ A college basketball coach aboard a hot-air balloon that burned and crashed at a festival in Virginia starred as a player at a Philadelphia high school. University of Richmond officials say 44-year-old Ginny Doyle was aboard the balloon that crashed Friday at the Mid-Atlantic Balloon Festival in Doswell, Virginia. The bodies of all three aboard had been found by Sunday. Doyle was the associate head coach of the Richmond Spiders women’s basketball team.

She previously was an assistant college coach at Rhode Island and East Carolina. Doyle was known as a skilled free-throw shooter at Archbishop Ryan High School in Philadelphia before she set the NCAA women’s record with 66 consecutive free throws during her senior season at Richmond, where she graduated in 1992. The record stood until 2011.

(The Associated Press and ABC News contributed to this report.)

Share on LinkedInShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook
Test