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Hot air balloon pilot had anesthetic in his system at time of crash that killed 4, report says

PHOENIX (AP) — A newly released report says a hot air balloon pilot had an elevated level of an anesthetic in his system at the time of a January crash that killed four people in Arizona. Authorities say toxicology tests show 37-year-old Cornelius Van Der Walt had a high amount of ketamine content in his blood when the balloon plummeted about 2,000 feet to the hard desert ground. According to medical experts, ketamine is a rapid-acting general anesthetic that is abused for its hallucinogenic effects. It is unclear if ketamine was a major factor in the fatal crash, however. An autopsy report from the Pinal County Medical Examiner’s Office said Van Der Walt died from “multiple blunt force trauma” with “accident” as the manner of death.

Article Topic Follows: AP National

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