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Kentucky newlyweds' big day nearly spoiled by hot air balloon mishap

Hot air balloon newlyweds
Posted at 3:23 PM, Nov 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-08 16:28:12-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. — A newly-wedded couple says their big day was almost spoiled by hot air balloon trouble.

Derrick and Emily Morton got married Sunday at a ceremony held in Lexington's Jacobson Park. For transportation to their reception at nearby Masterson Station, the couple planned a hot air balloon ride above picturesque Fayette County.

"The colors, the fall colors. It was just one of the most beautiful things that I've experienced," Derrick Morton said.

But when it was time to land, the bride and groom said the winds kept blowing, and the pilot nearly crashed.

"He took us into a tree. We literally flew into a tree," Emily Morton said. "The basket jars, we all fall to the bottom of the basket, the basket lands on the ground, we come up."

They say the balloon touched down in the backyard of a home in a nearby neighborhood. But the trip wasn't over yet.

"I'm thinking that we're going to land," Derrick Morton said. "I'm thinking that he's not going to take the balloon back up. But he hits the fire, makes the balloon go back up in the air, and before you know it, we're back up in the air and flying across I-75."

The group eventually touched down on a farm off Todds Road, still several miles away from their destination. To make matters worse, they still faced a long walk just to reach the road.

Crash site

"We weren't dressed for it. We needed boots and jeans; we didn't have that," Derrick Morton said. "It was thistles and all kinds of rough patches, water that you had to cross, and it was just bad."

Luckily, a photographer with Scripps station WLEX spotted the newlyweds and gave them a ride to their reception. They may have been a little late, but the couple says they wouldn't change a thing about their special day.

"I would do it again." Derrick Morton said. "As much as I complained, I would do it again."

"Absolutely," Emily Morton said.

No one aboard the hot air balloon was injured in the mishap.

This story was originally published by Conroy Delouche on Scripps station WLEX in Lexington, Kentucky.