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The GW Hatchet

AN INDEPENDENT STUDENT NEWSPAPER SERVING THE GW COMMUNITY SINCE 1904

The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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PAUL closes in Western Market
By Ella Mitchell, Staff Writer • April 22, 2024

Former basketball player presumed dead after hot air balloon crash

A former GW basketball player is presumed dead after a hot air balloon she was riding Friday hit a power line and caught fire near Doswell, Va.

Ginny Doyle, 44, played for the women’s basketball team from 1987 to 1989 before transferring to the University of Richmond, where she eventually became an associate head coach.

Doyle was in the basket with the pilot and Richmond’s director of basketball operations Natalie Lewis, 24, the Washington Post reported. Spiders head coach Michael Shafer and his two daughters were in a different balloon that landed safely.

Virginia State Police found two bodies Friday and Sunday but have not identified them. Lewis’ parents told the Post that their daughter hadn’t been found. Officers have not been able to find the balloon or basket, which may have burned, a police spokeswoman said.

The Associated Press reported that witnesses saw an explosion at about 8 p.m. after the balloon hit the power line, and two passengers either jumped or fell out of the balloon.

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