A Vermont man died Thursday after he became trapped beneath the basket of a hot air balloon he was piloting and fell to the ground.
Brian Boland, 72, of Post Mills was pronounced dead at the scene.
The balloon took off from Post Mills Airport in the late afternoon, police said. The balloon descended and briefly touched down in a field, causing the basket to tip. One passenger fell out and Boland became entangled in gear as it re-ascended and ended up trapped underneath the basket. He fell to the ground from an unspecified height and landed in a field off Waits River Road.
Police say the balloon continued north for more than a mile until it became caught in a grove of trees in Piermont, New Hampshire. The three remaining passengers were able to disembark safely. None of the four passengers was injured in the incident.
Boland’s body is being transported to the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Burlington for an autopsy.
The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are expected to arrive Friday morning to lead an investigation into the accident.