UPDATE: Pilot in hot air balloon crash is from Lansing area

Posted: 1:33 PM, Jun 26, 2018
Updated: 2018-06-26 17:34:00Z

A man from Mason was at the helm of a balloon that went down in a lake over the weekend.

The pilot, Ron Groce, was participating in the Michigan Challenge Balloonfest in Howell when his hot air balloon crashed into power lines and landed in a lake on Sunday morning.

A witness says the man was rescued Sunday morning by fishermen on Thompson Lake in Livingston County.

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.

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peter max@AuthorityBrand1

Hot air balloon pilot survives fiery crash into power line at Michigan Challenge Balloonfest …

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