DOSWELL, Va. - Former Archbishop Ryan basketball player Ginny Doyle died as a hot-air balloon crashed in Virginia on Saturday.
Natalie Lewis, a University of Richmond women's basketball team staff member, was one of the other two occupants of the balloon, which drifted into a power line, burst into flames, and crashed, her family said. Her body has not been found, family spokeswoman Julie Snyder told the Associated Press.
The remains of the pilot, whom authorities have not identified, and Doyle were found just under a mile apart in densely wooded areas.
More than 100 searchers spent the day scouring the woods and fields around the crash site for the third victim and any remnants of the balloon, police said. The search was being scaled back as darkness approached but was set to resume Sunday.
"The search continues for our beloved daughter and we remain hopeful and ask for your continued prayers," Lewis' parents, Patricia and Evan Lewis, said in a statement.
However, state police have described their search as an operation to recover remains.
Snyder called Lewis "an amazing persona and a strong persona, an athlete engaged to be married."
Lewis had just completed her second year as director of basketball operations for the Richmond women's basketball program, according to a profile on the university's website. The Buffalo native was a four-year letter winner and two-time captain of the Spiders' swim team.
The university canceled two weekend baseball games and held a moment of silence at Saturday's commencement without saying why.
Witnesses described a harrowing sight on the special preview night for the Mid-Atlantic Balloon Festival, which was set to open Saturday. The festival was canceled. About 740 people attended the preview event.
Carrie Hager-Bradley said she saw the balloon in flames on her way home from the grocery store and heard people yelling.
"They were just screaming for anybody to help them," she told WWBT TV. One person screamed, "Help me, help me, sweet Jesus, help. I'm going to die. Oh, my God, I'm going to die."
The balloon was among 13 that lifted off Friday night from Meadow Event Park, home to the State Fair of Virginia, and was approaching a landing site.
The pilot tried to regain control of the balloon and snuff out the fire, and the passengers either jumped or fell from the gondola, state police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said. She said another pilot interviewed by investigators described how the pilot tried to open vents to release extra-hot air to keep the balloon from rising faster.