Autopsy finds balloon pilot died of neck injury

Autopsy finds balloon pilot died of neck injury

Credit: Getty Images

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - MARCH 29: A balloon is seen at the 6th Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon Festival on March 29, 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The 6th Putrajaya Hot Air Balloon Festival features International Balloonist from countries such as United States, United Kingdom, Taiwan, Spain and Korea. (Photo by Rahman Roslan/Getty Images)

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by ASSOCIATED PRESS

khou.com

Posted on June 17, 2014 at 2:53 PM

WEST CHESTER, Pa. (AP) - A hot-air balloon pilot killed during a landing mishap near Philadelphia died of an accidental neck injury.
   
That's the conclusion of an autopsy on 47-year-old Jeff Hooten. The findings were released Tuesday by the Chester County coroner's office.
   
Hooten died Sunday after the accident in East Pikeland Township. He was from Albuquerque, New Mexico.
   
Police say Hooten fell out of the basket while reaching to grab a rope to deflate the balloon. They say he was dragged after becoming stuck between the basket and the ground.
   
Preliminary information from the Federal Aviation Administration indicates Hooten might have fallen out when the balloon bounced after a hard landing.
   
A spokesman for the U.S. Hot Air Balloon Team, which operates the balloon, did not immediately return a request for comment.

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