Virginia balloon crash looms over University of Richmond's undergraduate commencement

Larry O'Dell / The Associated Press
May 10, 2014 07:40 AM

Virginia State Police spokesperson Corine Geller speaks during a news conference in Doswell, Va., Saturday, May 10, 2014. Geller gave an update on a hot air balloon accident in the area last night. Virginia State Police say one body has been recovered from a hot air balloon that hit a power line, caught fire and crashed. Geller said Saturday searchers are continuing to look for two other occupants of the balloon, which went down Friday night in Doswell. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

DOSWELL, Va. - A family member has identified the pilot of a hot air balloon that crashed in Virginia on Friday.

Donald Kirk said Sunday that his son, Daniel T. Kirk, was at the controls of the balloon when it drifted into a power line, burst into flames and fell into a heavily wooded area about 25 miles north of Richmond.

The balloon was registered to Daniel Kirk at an address in the Dover, Delaware, area.

His company's website said that Kirk had more than 20 years' experience as a hot air balloon pilot.

The website says Kirk had a commercial balloon pilot license issued by the Federal Aviation Administration and had flown in ballooning events throughout the country.

Two members of University of Richmond's athletic staff were also killed in the crash.


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