Cause of death released for 3 in Va. balloon crash

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The medical examiner’s office has released the cause of death for the three victims of a fiery hot air balloon crash in Virginia.

Administrator Arkuie (ahr-KEE’) Williams said Tuesday that pilot Daniel Kirk and passenger Virginia Doyle died of blunt force trauma. He said passenger Natalie Lewis died of acute thermal injuries associated with the fire. He did not elaborate, but the term is used to describe severe burns.

Williams said all three deaths were ruled accidental.

The 65-year-old Kirk was piloting the balloon Friday when it hit a power line and caught fire at the start of a balloon festival in central Virginia.

Doyle was the 44-year-old associate head coach for the women’s basketball team at the University of Richmond. The 24-year-old Lewis was the UR women’s team director of basketball operations.

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