Atahan Kiliccote Obituary – A 24-year-old from Cupertino was among the four people who were killed in a hot air balloon crash Sunday morning in Arizona, according to police. Atahan Kiliccote was identified Monday as one of the victims killed when the balloon crashed at about 7:50 a.m. in a rural desert area about 60 miles south of Phoenix. According to the Eloy Police Department, there were 13 people – eight skydivers, one operator, and four passengers – in the balloon gondola when it took off. The incident occurred after the eight skydivers had exited the balloon.
“It is important to clarify that the skydiving was intentional and was completed by all skydivers before any issues with the hot air balloon were evident,” police said in a statement. According to an eyewitness, the material of the hot air balloon was straight up and down as it came down and the impact was large. Three people were taken to an area hospital, where they later died. One person was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. Another person was critically injured.