Two people who were traveling in a hot air balloon that crashed in Virginia Friday night have been confirmed dead, officials say.
According to the USA Today, the University of Richmond said that associate head basketball coach Ginny Doyle and director of basketball operations Natalie Lewis were killed in the crash. In addition, the Associated Press reports that the family of Daniel T. Kirk has confirmed that he was the pilot. Kirk remains missing.
USA Today adds that the balloon was one of many taking part in a preview of the Mid-Atlantic Balloon Festival, which was scheduled for yesterday. Two planes landed safely, but Kirk's balloon hit a power line and exploded into flames as he tried to land it.
The festival was cancelled, and the tragedy cast an ominous shadow over the school's graduation ceremony, which is scheduled for this afternoon.
University President Edward L. Ayers issued a statement on the matter: "As alumnae, classmates, and colleagues – and as invaluable and devoted mentors for our student-athletes – Ginny and Natalie have been beloved members of our community. Their leadership and friendship will endure in the lives of so many."
[via USA Today and Associated Press]
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