Hot Air Balloon Accident Injures 5

8/1/11 – Five people suffered what authorities are calling minor injuries after a hot air balloon accident in Beaver Dam early Saturday evening. It happened around 5:45 p-m at the Beaver Dam Conservationist Club during a fundraiser for Green Valley Enterprises, which included tethered hot air balloon rides. Dodge County Sheriff’s Deputy John Monahan says the balloon was on the ground when the wind changed directions and sent the balloon out of control. Officials say that was caused by a rope tethered to a pickup truck snapping. Injured in the incident was a 35-year-old Beaver Dam woman, who was taken to the hospital and had surgery yesterday afternoon to fix a broken arm. Three other spectators, a 51-year-old Beaver Dam woman, a 52-year-old Beaver Dam man and an 18-year-old Beaver Dam woman, were taken to the hospital. Also injured was the sole passenger in the balloon, a 65-year-old Burnett woman. The 51-year-old pilot was uninjured. The balloon ride was operated by Sundog Ballooning of Rhinelander, which donated their services for the Ham n’ Jam fundraiser. The Dodge County Sheriff’s Department and the Federal Aviation Administration are still investigating.