North Bay News
Off-course hot air balloon lands at school
ROHNERT PARK, Calif. -- A hot air balloon made an unscheduled landing at Monte Vista Elementary School in Rohnert Park this morning, a California Highway Patrol spokesman said.
CHP Officers Michael Phennicie and David Spencer were in the CHP's Rohnert Park office's parking lot when they spotted a balloon that appeared to be in distress, CHP Officer Jon Sloat said.
The balloon was losing altitude and disappeared behind some buildings adjacent to Redwood Drive, Sloat said.
The officers pursued it in their patrol car as the eastbound balloon traveled over U.S. Highway 101, Sloat said.
The balloon cleared power lines and some buildings by just a few feet before it struck a fence at the K-5 school at 1400 Magnolia Ave., Sloat said.
Officers directed students and teachers away from the balloon and held down its basket, Sloat said. The pilot and two passengers, a man and a woman, escaped safely.
The pilot said he intended to land the balloon in a field on the west side of the highway but winds blew him off course to the east, Sloat said.
After the landing, he deflated the balloon and a vehicle from the company that operates the balloon flights hauled it away, Sloat said.
rohnert park, sonoma county, north bay news
- Two men shot, killed on I-880 in Oakland ID'd
- Photos released of suspect in violent SJ carjacking
- Police say realignment may be cause of crime spike
- Longshoreman killed after truck falls into water
- FEMA to fund removal of trees from East Bay Hills
- Steve Wozniak to give Cal commencement speech
- Conn. commuter trains collide; 60 go to hospitals
- Italian team calls for better safety for America's Cup
- Grenade found in San Jose garage detonated safely
- Report: Yahoo nearing $1.1B acquisition of Tumblr
- Get Free Stuff: Purse, nail kit, comedy show
- abcnews: Rumor: Beyonce pregnant with 2nd child
- roundup: Officer-involved shooting; Bay to Breakers
- weather: Bay Area weather forecast for Saturday