Services set for teacher killed in hot air balloon accident

(Letchworth State Park)

NUNDA, N.Y. (AP) — Funeral services will be held this week for a high school teacher who died in a hot-air balloon accident in western New York.

State police say 34-year-old Ryan Almeter was working as a handler when a wind gust caused a balloon to take flight last Friday night during the Balloons Over Letchworth event in Nunda in Livingston County, 45 miles south of Rochester.

Troopers say Almeter was holding onto the basket to allow passengers to get off when the balloon suddenly climbed to about 100 feet. Almeter let go and fell to his death.

Almeter was a math teacher in the Keshequa Central School District for the past eight years. A funeral service will be held Thursday afternoon in the high school gymnasium.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the accident.

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