ASHLAND – The pilot, who was killed Friday night at Ashland's balloon festival, hit his head on burners as he dismantled his balloon, according to a press release.

At the time of printing, the name of the pilot had not been published until the family was informed [19659008] "We can not comment because it is being investigated," said Mindi Cantrell, President of the BallonFest Committee. "We will post more information when the whole family has been notified, we respect the family."

Following the incident, the Federal Aviation Administration was called. The pilot died in the Samaritan Medical Center of the University Hospital.

"It's our 28th year, and something like that has never happened before". Cantrell said:

Park Street had been closed for a meeting with the pilots early Saturday afternoon. The accident on Friday was not mentioned.

The session was interrupted for 30 minutes because of the oppressive heat, mainly children were seeking autographs from the pilots. Some climbed in the baskets for photos.

Cantrell said the Saturday activities continued as planned. A number of people played Cornhole under a relentless sun in the early afternoon. Freer Field is an ideal location for BalloonFest, but it has no trees.

Cantrell said there were around 4,500 visitors on Thursday night, a record for the first festival day and another 7,000 on Friday.

Mcaudill @ gan


Twitter: @MNJCaudill

Read more: Ashlands 28. BalloonFest takes off

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