Pilot escapes injury after hot-air balloon crash in Michigan

Posted at 9:19 PM, Jun 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-24 21:19:44-04

HOWELL, Mich. (WSYM) - A Mid-Michigan hot air ballon festival got off to a dramatic start Sunday morning after a balloon crashed into power lines and landed in a lake.

A witness says the man was rescued Sunday morning by fishermen on Thompson Lake around the Livingston County community of Howell. The pilot was taken to rescue crews at the shore.

Dave Park, who was fishing on the lake, tells the station the basket and balloon were on fire after hitting the wires.

"I think god was watching over somebody because hitting a large power line like that, with a lot of flames," said Scott Hable, who saw the aftermath of the crash. "It was good to hear that everyone was safe"

It wasn't immediately clear what caused the crash. Officials with the Michigan Challenge Balloonfest say it's being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The festival is held annually in the area.