Autopsy Reveals How Balloon Pilot Died

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.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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