Buffalo mourns woman killed in balloon accident

This photo provided by Nancy Johnson shows what authorities say is a hot-air balloon that was believed to have caught fire and crashed in Virginia, Friday, May 9, 2014. Virginia State Police received calls of the crash shortly before 8 p.m., police spokeswoman Corinne Geller told a news conference. Geller said a pilot and two passengers were believed to be on board, and that police believe it was the gondola that caught fire. (AP Photo/Nancy Johnson)
This photo provided by Nancy Johnson shows what authorities say is a hot-air balloon that was believed to have caught fire and crashed in Virginia, Friday, May 9, 2014. Virginia State Police received calls of the crash shortly before 8 p.m., police spokeswoman Corinne Geller told a news conference. Geller said a pilot and two passengers were believed to be on board, and that police believe it was the gondola that caught fire. (AP Photo/Nancy Johnson)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — One of the two University of Richmond employees killed in a hot-air balloon accident in Virginia last week was a former standout high school swimmer from Buffalo.

Local media report that 24-year-old Natalie Lewis starred for the swim team at Nardin Academy High School, a 157-year-old private Catholic school in Buffalo.

Lewis, assistant women’s basketball coach Ginny Doyle and Daniel Kirk were killed last Friday when the balloon Kirk was piloting hit a power line and exploded outside Richmond.

Lewis’ family released a statement over the weekend that thanked the people of Buffalo for their prayers and support in the wake of the tragedy.

Lewis, who was engaged to be married, set swimming records at Nardin and was captain of Richmond’s swim team. After graduating, she became Richmond’s director of women’s basketball operations.

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