A woman who witnessed the crash of a small blimp near the Wisconsin golf course where the U.S. Open is underway says she saw flames as the aircraft deflated and floated to the ground.
Mary Ruediger was visiting her parents who live near Erin Hills golf course when the blimp went down nearby Thursday. Ruediger says she saw the blimp disappear behind the tree line, drove to another vantage point and saw black smoke along with three fireballs erupting after it hit the field.
The 45-year-old Ruediger says first responders were quickly on the scene.
The pilot was the only person aboard. Washington County sheriff’s officials say the pilot suffered serious burns and injuries. He was taken to the hospital by air.