In July 2016, Texas saw the deadliest hot air balloon crash in American history when Alfred "Skip" Nichols piloted his balloon into power lines near Lockhart, killing himself and 15 passengers. It has now been revealed in an October 17 meeting of the National Transportation Safety Board in Washington that Nichols was impaired by Valium, opioids, and other medication, and had psychological conditions that affected his decision-making. As quoted by the Associated Press, NTSB medical officer Dr. Nicholas Webster reported that there was enough Benadryl in Nichols' system to have "the impairing effect of a blood-alcohol level" of a drunk driver.
A deadly tragedy hit Central Texas the early morning of July 30, 2016, when a hot air balloon came crashing to the ground in a literal ball of fire. Federal and local authorities reporting this story believed that the hot air balloon was carrying 16 people at the time of the crash, none of whom survived. Federal Aviation Authority officials said the balloon caught fire before crashing, but did not provide any other details.
The National Transportation Safety Board said on Sunday that a hot air balloon that crashed near Lockhart, Texas likely struck power lines before it crashed. The crash, which occurred on Saturday morning and garnered national media attention, killed all sixteen people aboard. It was the deadliest hot air balloon crash on record in the U.S., eclipsed only by a 2013 crash in Luxor, Egypt that killed 19.