LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – On April 27, 1994, WAVE 3's John Ramsey, then a local radio personality, was involved in a hot air balloon crash similar the one that happened Wednesday in southern Indiana.
Ramsey was broadcasting from the Early Times balloon when it plunged toward the ground and crashed into potentially deadly power lines along Interstate 64 east of the Watterson Expressway a little after 8:00 that morning.
Ramsey, pilot Mike Kirk, and a second passenger, Debra Sheehan, were in the balloon when a storm quickly approached. As Kirk tried to land the balloon a wind gust sent the balloon crashing into the power lines. Witnesses described seeing an explosion and hearing a thunderous pop.
The dramatic rescue was caught on camera.
Kirk, Ramsey and Sheehan waited an hour in the balloon's gondola before they were rescued.
Many people – most of them passersby – were the first responders. They risked their lives to help stabilize the dangling balloon before trained rescuers arrived.
WAVE 3 reporters Craig Hoffman and Paul Adrian covered the story that day.
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WAVE 3'S John Ramsey involved in 1994 balloon crash Passersby come to rescue after 1994 balloon crash
Ordinary citizens stepped into danger without anyone asking.