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June 7, 2012

Hot air balloon hits power lines

Couple runs into power lines on engagement balloon ride

BORDEN — A romantic hot air balloon ride and a marriage proposal nearly turned tragic as a balloon the newly engaged couple was in collided with power lines.

Police and emergency crews were called to Ind. 60 and Wilson Switch Road in Borden, where the balloon had landed and authorities found the balloon’s pilot unconscious and minor burns on the passengers.

According to a Clark County Sheriff’s report, Martin Newsome and Sheri Games had hired Dallas Beall to take them on a hot air balloon ride Wednesday.

The pair took off from a church in Memphis and during the flight Newsome proposed to Games. After they spent a while in the air, Beall landed the balloon in a field. He decided he was going to take off again and land in an area where the grass wasn’t as tall.

According to the police report, the balloon lifted off facing directly into the sun, and when it was about 40 feet in the air, the basket they were riding in struck a power line. The shock from the power line threw Beall into Games, knocking him unconscious and stopped his breathing.

Dan Koehler, who was working as part of the ground crew for the balloon, shouted instructions to the couple on how to land the balloon, according to the report.

When it landed an unconscious Beall was pulled from the basket and Koehler began performing CPR on him. Beall was revived and air lifted to University of Louisville Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to the police report.

Games was taken to Floyd Memorial Hospital and Health Services where she was treated for minor burns.

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