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Pilot of hot air balloon that crashed had cocaine, marijuana in his system

Deadly Balloon Crash
Posted at 6:13 PM, Sep 22, 2021

The pilot of a hot air balloon that crashed in Albuquerque, New Mexico had cocaine and marijuana in his system, according to a toxicology report, which was reviewed by NBC affiliate KOB 4.

The crash killed four passengers and the pilot, Nicholas Meleski, in June. The balloon hit a power line and fell approximately 100 feet, according to Albuquerque Fire Rescue.

Meleski's family told KOB 4 that they are reviewing the toxicology report and asking for privacy.

The trip was a gift to an assistant principal who was taking a new job at a different school. Susan Montoya's co-workers got her the gift because she said riding in a hot air balloon was on her "bucket list."

Montoya, her husband and another couple, who Montoya invited on the ride, died in the crash.