Power line hit by hot air balloon may not have been on pilot's map

CAROLINE, VA (WWBT) - A power line struck in a deadly hot air balloon crash in Caroline County may not have been on the pilot's map, Governor Terry McAuliffe said Monday.

Governor McAuliffe said he was briefed by Virginia State Police on the crash Monday morning and given the new information about the possible map error.

"They didn't give me anything more than they believe it was flying low and hit a power line that apparently wasn't on the map the pilot was looking at or not looking at, but we don't know for sure," Gov. McAuliffe said in response to a question about the crash.

The fiery crash, captured in photo and video by witnesses on Friday, killed the pilot and two University of Richmond women's basketball team staff members.

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Ginny Doyle, associate head women's basketball coach, and Natalie Lewis, director of basketball operations at the university were both killed during the inaugural Mid-Atlantic Balloon Festival at Meadow Event Park. The remainder of the festival was subsequently canceled.

The balloon was piloted by Daniel Kirk, a veteran ballooner with more than 30 years experience, when it struck a power line and caught fire around 7:56 p.m. Friday. Kirk began emergency safety maneuvers to get the fire under control, but witnesses told troopers the gondola and balloon eventually separated. Witnesses also reported hearing what sounded like two explosions.

Virginia State Police and the NTSB continue to search Monday for items associated with the balloon victims. The third and final body was recovered Sunday. State police are still awaiting final confirmation from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner on the identifications of the three victims.

Doyle was a two-time all-conference player at Richmond who graduated in 1992. She led the Spiders to the 1991 CAA Championship and NCAA Tournament and is the program's career leader in free throw percentage. She set the NCAA Division I record for consecutive free throws made with 66, a mark that stood for 18 years.

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After graduation Doyle joined the  Spiders' staff for 16 years. The Spiders had nine winning seasons, including a trip to the 2006 NCAA tournament and a first-ever appearance in the Atlantic 10 Championship final in 2009, during her 16 years at the university.

Lewis was a championship swimmer and four-year varsity letter winner at Richmond, serving twice as team captain. She was on three Atlantic 10 swimming championship teams, as well as a student government cabinet member and Spider Scholar Athlete when she graduated in 2011. She began her professional career with Spider Athletics in 2012.

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Daniel Kirk was a pilot for Starship Adventures, which offered scenic hot air balloon flights over the DelMarVa area of the Eastern Shore. Kirk held a commercial balloon pilot license issued by the Federal Aviation Administration and was fully insured for commercial balloon operations, according to the company's website.

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In a Kirk claims he has "29 plus years" experience in a YouTube videopublished nearly two years ago of him training a beginner to fly a balloon.

His father, Donald, told NBC news his son was a retired lieutenant Army colonel who served in the military for 37 years. He called the crash "just a freak accident" saying his son was always very cautious.

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