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Hot air balloon makes emergency landing on Farmington thoroughfare

The Daily Times staff
Pilot Mike Bertetto of OTR Hot Air Balloon Adventures removes the burner from a hot air balloon that landed Monday on West Main Street near its intersection with Broadway Avenue in Farmington.

FARMINGTON — A hot air balloon was caught in some unpredictable winds this morning and made an emergency landing on a road on the west side of Farmington.

Farmington Police were dispatched  at 10:01 a.m. to the intersection of West Main Street and Broadway Avenue on reports of a hot air balloon in the roadway.

One lane of westbound traffic on West Main Street was shut down for about 25 minutes as the balloon from OTR Hot Air Balloon Adventures was loaded up in a trailer.

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The pilot, Mike Bertetto of Albuquerque, and passengers Rusty Diamond and Susi Chase of Pensacola, Fla., were not injured.

The balloon launched from the Boys and Girls Club of Bloomfield soccer fields about 8:30 a.m. and was set to land at the Four Corners Regional Airport around 10 a.m.

The winds were described as unpredictable by Bertetto, which forced the landing on West Main Street. The hot air balloon ride was for Diamond's birthday in August.