On Saturday, June 27, a hot-air balloon crash resulted in five fatalities of three men and two women. It occurred because the gondola of the balloon made contact with a power line. After it caught on fire, the balloon crashed into an intersection. By the time emergency services had arrived, four people had already passed. The fifth was critically injured and passed away at the hospital.
Of the deceased, two were Martin and Mary Martinez. Martin was a retired APD officer and worked in security for Albuquerque Public Schools. He had worked with some of the police who responded to the scene. The other victims were not named publicly until their families are informed.
Following the incident, more than 13,000 people had power outages and remained without power while an investigation of the accident scene occurred. After the investigation of the scene was complete, their power was restored. Public Service Company of New Mexico, the electricity provider, had a spokeswoman release a statement about how they will continue to support the first responders in every way they can.
The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are conducting an investigation as to what happened, so far identifying the type of balloon: a Cameron 0-120 hot air balloon.
Mayor Tim Keller and Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham have made public statements offering condolences to the families affected and have noted shock to the ballooning community.
Many people in New Mexico enjoy hot-air ballooning as a recreational activity. Albuquerque has the International Balloon Fiesta each autumn. If someone is negligent while operating a balloon, tragedies can occur. In cases like these, families deserve justice. Our personal injury lawyers can help you review your legal options. Reach out to Buckingham & Vega Law Firm today for a free case evaluation.