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Hot Air Balloon Crash In Texas that Killed 16 Raises Safety Questions

I pride myself in helping clients through their toughest times.- Bill O’Mara

Attorney at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers

Hot Air Balloon Crash In Texas that Killed 16 Raises Safety Questions

Hot air ballooning trips are popular but when things go wrong they can quickly turn deadly.

I was horrified and saddened to read about the deaths of at least 16 people in a ballooning accident in Texas.

The crash in Central Texas is the worst ballooning accident in U.S. history and is likely to lead to a review of the laws governing ballooning. My thoughts are with those who have lost a loved one.

air-balloon

The National Transportation Board investigators are still trying to figure out exactly how many people were on the balloon when it crashed on Saturday and what caused the tragedy.

A team of investigators is arriving near the town of Lockhart. The balloon appears to have come down on power lines, caught fire and plummeted to the ground. There were no survivors.

Even the death toll is uncertain because balloon operators don’t usually file a manifest.

A report in USA Today noted how the crash calls into question the existing regulations for hot air balloons.

It noted that from 1964 to 2013, the NTSB has looked into 760 hot air balloon accidents in the USA, 67 of them fatal. Accidents are usually caused by highs winds, bad weather and balloons crashing into power lines.

The balloon is Texas took off from a field that was ringed with power lines. A report in the Daily Mail suggested the balloon may have been overloaded and eyewitnesses noted it struggling to get off the ground.

The number of balloon accidents is a cause for concern. In 2014, three people died in a balloon crash near Richmond in Virginia.

The worst hot air balloon incident worldwide was caused by a fire, which triggered an explosion in a hot air balloon with 21 people on board over Luxor, Egypt, in 2013. Nineteen people were killed.

As a Virginia wrongful death lawyer, I’m concerned that balloons are flown so close to power lines. The industry also seems to be lacking regulations. It would make more sense operators to be forced to draw up manifests that detail who is on board a balloon. There is clearly a need for stronger regulations in the ballooning industry.

If you have lost a loved one in an accident, call our wrongful death lawyers today at (757) 455-0077.

 

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John Cooper

John Cooper is a veteran of personal injury law practice in Virginia. A native Virginian, he was raised in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. He has more than 20 years of experience handling personal injury cases and recently handled the largest auto accident settlement in 2010, according to VA Lawyers Weekly. The award provided $3.5 million to a child whose young father died when the vehicle he was a passenger in was rear-ended by a careless truck driver.

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Jim Hurley

Jim Hurley has been practicing law throughout Virginia for more than two-and-a-half decades. During his career, he has tried more than 100 jury trials — a staggering number — and handled hundreds more that were settled out of court. He is guided by the principle that the client is in charge of his or her case and should be kept fully aware of the litigation process. Jim has been awarded an AV Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating given, for his practice of law. He was named in Virginia Super Lawyers in 2014, 2015, 2016.

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Bill O’mara

Bill O’Mara started his legal career in 2008, moving back to his home town of Chesapeake, VA. He has practiced in the field of plaintiffs’ personal injury and other litigation. He has gained extensive court room and trial experience, including contested trials before judges and juries across Hampton Roads. In 2014, Mr. O’Mara joined Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers as an associate attorney. He became a partner in 2017.

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