Joel Riley

Joel Riley

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Hot air balloon crash

 Howell's hot air balloon festival took a terrifying turn Sunday when a man crashed his balloon into some power lines.

The balloon was flying over Thompson Lake that morning when it hit a power line and crashed into the water.

A couple of Good Samaritans saw it all happen and rushed to help.

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"I saw the yellow balloon; it was coming down pretty quick. Half the balloon part was missing and then it went into the water," says Kirk Gunning. 

The balloon's pilot, who was flying solo, wasn't hurt. 

Gunning and his neighbors who live on the lake did immediately what they could to help. They helped bring the pilot and the balloon to shore. 

The Michigan Challenge Balloonfest continued on as planned.

The FAA is investigating the crash. 

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