Balloon pilot fatally injured identified as Cortland man

Staff/wire reports

ASHLAND, Ohio (AP) — The pilot at an Ohio balloon festival who hit his head on the balloon’s burners after landing and died has been identified as a Cortland man.

The president of the Ashland BalloonFest in northeast Ohio says the pilot who was fatally injured Friday was 74-year-old John Moran, of Cortland.

Festival president Mindi Cantrell had said Moran hit his head during “disassembly of the balloon.”

Officials say Moran was injured shortly after his balloon landed Friday night just north of Ashland, roughly 65 miles southwest of Cleveland.

Authorities say Moran was taken to a hospital, where he died from his injuries.

Festival officials say it was the 23rd year Moran had participated in the balloon event. ASHLAND - John Moran, a Cortland area man and a 23-year veteran of Ashland Balloonfest, has been identified as the man who died in a post-landing incident following a flight Friday evening.

Moran, 74, was piloting a balloon called Tetris, a largely white balloon with a multicolored pattern during the 28th annual Ashland Ballonfest.

“The Ashland Balloonfest committee is saddened by the loss of balloonist, John Moran,” Balloonfest committee president Mindi Cantrell said Saturday afternoon in a news release. “John was a staple here at our event, this being his 23rd year with us. John loved the sport and the ballooning community. He will be deeply missed by so many.”

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