A hot air balloon on a birthday excursion made an unexpected landing on the Duenda Road bridge in Rancho Bernardo, California, on Tuesday evening.
The balloon owned by Skysurfer Balloon Company had eight passengers plus the pilot when it missed its intended target in a 4S Ranch field and continued to travel east, said Pilot Phil Brandt. No one was injured.
Due to wind gusts the balloon came down just south of church on the bridge next to Westwood Shopping Center shortly after 7 p.m. Brandt said he unsuccessfully tried to get the balloon back up so he could land again at the church. People at the shopping center assisted by grabbing the ropes and directing the balloon away from a street lamp, he added.
San Diego Police and San Diego Fire-Rescue responded to the scene to direct traffic around the deflated balloon and basket, and help with its removal.
Pilot Phil Brandt was assisted by San Diego firefighters in moving the hot air balloon’s basket from the bridge.
Fire Capt. Chris Babler from Station No. 33 said the crew was nearby, having just rescued a mountain biker who received a head injury in a crash along the north shore of Lake Hodges, near Interstate 15 and the boat ramp.
Babler said it was lucky the balloon missed the nearby freeway and its gas did not escape.
© Shaw Media, 2014