Marriage Proposal Falls Flat in Fiery Air Balloon Crash

By ABC News

Apr 7, 2014 11:15am

ABC News’ Melissa Lustrin reports:

It was a romantic moment that suddenly turned almost deadly.

A hot air balloon crashed into live power lines with seven people on board this weekend in Noblesville, Ind. Among them was Stephen Richardson, who had just proposed to his girlfriend, Brandi Runyan.

“I don’t know if it was wind conditions or what,” Richardson told ABC News. “We knew we were going down and we saw the power lines coming right at us.”

The happy couple had been snapping photos a few minutes before the sparks flew in the most unexpected and horrifying way. It was utter chaos for the seven passengers as they were blinded by an explosion of light, then billowing black smoke crashed their balloon into an open field before completely catching fire.

“When we hit, the pilot told us to get down,” Richardson said. “All we saw were sparks all around us, and felt the sparks. We were all in shock and fear.”

There were no serious injuries, but several homes and businesses in the area did lose power. The FAA is investigating the cause of the crash, and the hot air balloon company, Midwest Balloon Rides of Fishers, Ind., told ABC News the incident is under review.

As for Richardson and Runyan, they don’t consider the incident a bad omen and just hope the “crashing” was reserved for the proposal and not the wedding.

“She wanted a story and she got one,” Richardson said. “Especially after this, we’ll just keep it simple.”

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