Hot air balloon crashes minutes after passenger proposes to girlfriend

They say that all relationships have their ups and downs, but few relationships have survived a literal crash down to earth quite like Christine Peters and Stephen Martin’s.

Peters and Martin had just become engaged aboard a hot air balloon over Edmonton in Alberta, Canada, when the balloon lost altitude and crashed into a tree, reports CTV News.

Thankfully, none of the balloon’s 12 passengers were injured in the incident. What’s more, Martin and Peters say they’re appreciative of the crazy engagement story they can now tell friends.


According to ABC News, prior to the ride, Peters told Martin it was her dream to take a ride in a hot air balloon, so they booked a tour with Sundance Balloons. A local CTV News affiliate reports that inclement weather delayed their trip a few times, but on May 27, Peters and Martin finally lifted off on an aerial sightseeing trip of Edmonton.

During the flight, Martin proposed to Peters, who quickly accepted. Just a few minutes later, however, the balloon was reportedly caught in a downdraft and descended into some trees.

“All of a sudden, we're still 30 or 40 feet up in the air and just the whole thing shakes and you hear like cracking of branches and we're in a tree,” Peters recalled.

“It all happened very quickly so I don’t think we really had a chance to be afraid,” added Justin Scott, a fellow passenger who spoke with, and captured the entire crash on video.

The pilot was reportedly able to use his burner to lift the balloon from the tree. He then aimed the balloon — which was still moving fast — toward a nearby field.

“Go down, guys, go down, because this is going to be a drag landing,” the pilot can be heard telling the passengers in Scott’s video.

Indeed, the basket touched down and dragged across the field for about 30 seconds — Peters estimates that they traveled about 100 or 200 feet across the ground — before coming to a stop and slumping over on its side.


Despite the ordeal, Peters says that neither she nor Martin were all that scared.

“The pilot was amazing. He talked us through everything,” Peters said in a satellite interview with CTV News. “[He] let us know to brace ourselves; we knew we were coming in for a rough landing.

“Just, the tree part was a little bit of a surprise,” she admitted.

“Looking at it now, I’m actually glad we went out because it was kind of like a crazy adventure,” Martin added to CTV News. “Plus, seeing how I proposed to her too, it makes for an awesome story.”

Peters and Martin have yet to set a date for their wedding, but they say it’s being planned for “somewhere down the road.”