Autopsy indicates balloon pilot died from neck injury

Jeffrey Hooten

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – An autopsy shows the Albuquerque balloon pilot that died Sunday, died from a neck injury.

Jeffrey Hooten, 47, fell from the hot air balloon while trying to land in east Pikeland, Pennsylvania.

Police say he fell out of the basket while reaching for a rope that deflates the balloon.

The FAA says Hooten may have fallen out when the balloon bounced after a hard landing.

Police say he was dragged after getting stuck under the basket.

Hooten had piloted balloons at Balloon Fiesta. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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