Hot air balloon crash landing caught on video: Balloon crashes moments after couple wed

Kerin, Jonathan Narcisse marry in hot air balloon

SAN DIEGO - A hot air balloon crash landed in the back yard of a Rancho Penasquitos home on Monday afternoon, just moments after a couple exchanged wedding vows.

According to San Diego Fire-Rescue Department spokesman Maurice Luque, the balloon landed in the back of a home on Calle de los Ninos at Avenida De La Cantina shortly after 4:45 p.m.

Kerin and Jonathan Narcisse had just exchanged their wedding vows thousands of feet in the air.

Shana Pergande, one of the six loved ones witnessing the wedding, did not skip a beat recording the entire crash landing with her cellphone.

Luque told 10News 13 people were inside the basket of the balloon when it landed. One of the balloon's occupants suffered a minor back injury and was transported to Pomerado Hospital as a precaution. No other injuries were reported.

The deflated blue-and-yellow balloon wound up draped over a tree and part of a home but caused no known property damage, according to Luque.

Later, at their reception in La Jolla, the newlyweds explained what happened.

"The first couple times he tried to land, we floated over," said Kerin Narcisse.

Jonathan Narcisse added, "We kept missing landing spots. Next thing you know, we're descending and I'm thinking, 'How is he going to land here' because there's no place to land. And of course he hit the fence, but we hit and we skidded and then we bounced."

"I got a little worried when we hit the fence and I thought, 'Well, if the fence doesn't stop us then we're going down this hill,'" Kerin said.

There is plenty of irony behind this matrimony.

"I told him if I ever got married again I had to get married in a hot air balloon," said Kerin.

But Jonathan, an editor and publisher from Iowa, is deathly afraid of heights.   

"I am terrified," he said.

Yet he agreed, saying it was a testament of his love.

Narcisse is well known in Iowa after an unsuccessful run for governor.

On Tuesday, Connie Von Zweck, the owner of Skysurfer Balloon Company, called the incident a "windy landing" and said it happens all of the time. She referred 10News to the balloon's pilot, Pete Brunner.

"It's becoming more difficult because our open spaces is diminishing," Brunner said in 2008.

Attempts to reach Brunner were unsuccessful, but 10News spoke to him in 2008 when he complained that suburban sprawl was contributing to hard landings.

The Federal Aviation Administration oversees hot air balloon pilots and require they pass rigid test standards. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, the last significant hot air balloon accident in San Diego happened in 1997. Similar to Monday's incident, unpredicted winds pulled the balloon off course.

10News uncovered video of another incident in April 2007 that shows another hot air balloon crash. The company operating it was also called Skysurfer, though it's unclear if it was the same company.

A battle between balloonists and the city of San Diego has even led to lawsuits. Though it reportedly brings in $30 million to the local economy because of tourists. 10News spoke with a lawyer who once represented balloonists in lawsuits. He said the city's Parks and Recreations Department has cited balloon pilots if they land within city limits even if it's an open space. Those citations were eventually dismissed.

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