BREAKING NEWS: Balloon Crashes Near ASK Academy — Two Injured

October 9, 2013

News, The Zoetics

Photo by Greg Abernathy of The Catalyst A balloon catches on fire after hitting powerlines near the ASK Academy in Rio Rancho this morning. This photo was shot with a scholar's cell phone camera from an upstairs classroom seconds after the crash.

Photo by Greg Abernathy of The Catalyst
A balloon catches on fire after hitting powerlines near the ASK Academy in Rio Rancho this morning. This photo was shot with a scholar’s cell phone camera from an upstairs classroom, seconds after the crash.


By Ryley Thompson

Balloon number 193 crashed into power lines at the corner of Sara Road  and Meadowlark Lane just east of the ASK Academy at approximately 8:30 this morning.

Janet Garcia, public information officer for the Rio Rancho Police Department, said there were two male passengers in the gondola, one sustained severe injuries to the head and chest area. The other passenger suffered severe burns to the face; both have been transported to the emergency room to receive further medical care.

Junior Ryan Pipkin witnessed the crash as he came down the southern-facing stairs at ASK. “I saw the balloon and thought it had landed, then I saw the gondola leaning up against the powerlines. The balloon was weighting the basket in the opposite direction, so the pilot couldn’t get his basket away from the lines.”

Pipkin then saw the pilot pull the propane valve release, and when the flames shot up, it caught the gondola and balloon on fire. “It exploded. Someone in the gondola started screaming for help, and the chase crew — who was already waiting at the scene — started yelling. I heard someone say ‘Call 911.'”

The balloon quickly crashed to the ground after the fire. The Rio Rancho Fire Department was at the scene within minutes, and several nuns walked to the crash from the nearby funeral home.

The powerline wires were partly severed after being struck by the gondola. Garcia said she has not heard of any power outages in the area, although students and staff at ASK felt the electricity flicker when the gondola struck the powerlines. PNM is currently working on the situation. Updates will come as we have more information.


Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

21 Comments on “BREAKING NEWS: Balloon Crashes Near ASK Academy — Two Injured”

  1. Kontagious Kayla Says:

    HOLY CAN-OLE BATMAN!! That’s horrible!!


  2. Ashley Melodia Says:

    I really Hope the two people will be ok that was really scary to see!


  3. Steven Says:

    I hope those people are okay 😭😭😭


  4. Alexis Says:

    That would have been interesting and scary to see, and I planned on going out there to look, but I am currently using crutches lol.


  5. Angelica Anaya Says:

    That sucks!
    glad they’re okay.


  6. Cheyenne Duddy Says:

    This is really sad!! Hope they are okay! :_)


  7. Sierra Strebe Says:

    I heard about this and it is really sad:(


  8. Lelanita Davenport Says:

    hopefully everyone is safe!


  9. Katelynn Henderson Says:

    Hopefully they will be okay!


  10. Michelle Witt Says:

    That’s horrible and so sad! I hope they have a quick recovery!


  11. Samantha Kellogg-Howell Says:

    I am glad that they are getting the medical attention they need. I am glad no one was killed in the crash.


  12. Alexander Heitz-Canales Says:

    Thats Cool


  13. Charis Mote Says:

    Oh my gosh i am glad the balloonists didn’t get more hurt than they already are!


  14. Linda Legault Says:

    We are praying for the men.


  15. mnwitt Says:

    Hope they are ok!


  16. Mr S Says:

    Hope the two people are ok too. What a great scoop by the incredibly professional organization “The ASKCatalyst”. First news team out with the story to the public.

    Mr S


  17. Johanna Says:

    That was frighting. I’m glad that it didn’t happen to the balloons i’ve crewed for in past years.


  18. Michael Allen Says:

    It seems that interesting events are always happening at ASK


  19. Robert Hershman Says:

    The crash was interesting and surprisingly close to the school.


  20. James Irwin-McConnell Says:

    I heard about it. Why did he pull the propane release in the first place? Probably would have been better to just wait for emergency response to help. Too bad you couldn’t interview them in 2013…..



  1. On Anniversary of Balloon Crash, Co-Pilot Says Life is Better Than Before | ASK Catalyst - October 9, 2014

    […] One year ago today, Daniel Lovato and his longtime friend Mark Kilgore launched from the early morning mass ascension in Kilgore’s balloon, New Mexico Sunrise 2. It was a routine flight, one they had been doing together for the past 10 years. As the balloon floated north toward The ASK Academy, nothing seemed awry, and Lovato and Kilgore thought they would miss the power lines at the intersection of Meadowlark and Sara road. […]

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: