Arizona hot air balloon crash

A 28-year-old registered nurse from Indiana was among the four individuals who tragically lost their lives in a hot air balloon accident in the Arizona desert. Speaking to ABC15, Katie Bartrom’s family revealed that she perished in the crash. Described as someone who adored skydiving and adventure, Bartrom’s mother shared that her daughter had a passion for these activities.

The accident occurred when the balloon crashed into the desert around five miles north of the city of Eloy at approximately 7:50 am. Thirteen individuals, including eight skydivers, four passengers, and a pilot, were on board the balloon. Eyewitnesses described the balloon’s descent as shapeless, deflated, and rapidly descending. According to Eloy Mayor Micah Powell, the skydivers exited the balloon before the incident, while the other five individuals remained.

‘What we know at this point is the skydivers were able to exit the balloon without incident and completed their planned skydiving event, and then shortly thereafter something catastrophic happened with the balloon causing it to crash to the ground,’ Eloy Police Chief Byron Gwaltney told reporters.

The Eloy Police Chief, Byron Gwaltney, stated that the incident transpired swiftly, deeming it a tragic occurrence for the community. One individual was pronounced dead at the scene, while the other three succumbed to their injuries at a hospital. Additionally, one passenger remains in critical condition at a Phoenix-area trauma center.

Out of respect for the victims’ families, the Eloy Police Department has refrained from disclosing their names until their next of kin have been notified. Furthermore, federal agencies such as the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are conducting investigations to determine the cause of the accident.