Names of 5 victims of hot air balloon crash released

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The names of the five victims of Saturday’s deadly hot air balloon crash were released Sunday.

  • Nicholas Meleski (Pilot)
  • Susan Montoya (Passenger)
  • Mary Martinez (Passenger)
  • Martin Martinez (Passenger)
  • John Montoya (Passenger)

The victims, who were all from Albuquerque, ranged in age from 59 to 65 years old.

Nicholas, Susan, Mary and Martin were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, Central and Unser.

John was taken to a hospital, but died soon after.

Martin was an Albuquerque Public Schools Police Sergeant and ex-APD officer Martin Martinez.

Albuquerque Fire Rescue said the balloon gondola hit a power line and fell approximately 100 feet. The balloon envelope was found at a separate location south of the crash.

Albuquerque police said the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are investigating the cause of the crash.