Longview Balloon Organizers Remember Pilot Killed In Accident - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Longview Balloon Organizers Remember Pilot Killed In Accident

  Organizers and participants of the "Great Texas Balloon Race" are remembering a pilot who lost his life in a crash in Shreveport two days ago. 52-year-old Bill Harwell, an experienced balloon pilot, and his passenger, 54-year-old Sandi Demoss were killed as their hot air balloon crashed in Shreveport late yesterday. Harwell was a familiar face in Longview, having piloted in the great Texas balloon race in Longview for many years. 

    Both pilots were scheduled to take part in upcoming East Texas balloon events in Carthage and Longview. Many connected with the Longview balloon race were shocked and saddened by the news of Harwells death, and very respected and well liked pilot.

     "He was an awesome guy I was really nervous cause it was my first balloon flight and he made just an awesome experience for me, he was a good guy, we'll go out to the balloon races and I'll look for him I'll really look for him and talk , e-mail , I hate it , its really a sad day because he was just a good guy" says Sandi Boaz, who crewed Harwells balloon many times.

    "One of the nicest guys you'd want to meet just well thought of a pleasure to have here I don't know anybody that ever crewed or chased for him that won't have something really nice to say" says Dr. Steve Baker, a longtime balloon race official who knew Harwell.

    A remembrance for Harwell is being planned for the upcoming "Great Texas Balloon Race" scheduled for July in Gregg County.

   Bob Hallmark reporting.

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