Lafayette

Sep 18, 2013 7:39 PM by Allison Bourne-Vanneck

Two Lafayette Women Survive Hot Air Balloon Crash In Spain

It was a close call for two Lafayette Parish women, who survived a hot air balloon crash.

Both Karen Guidry and Christine Stelly are still overseas in Spain where it happened, and have been stuck there for days.

Guidry and Stelly have been friends for over 40 years, and together they've traveled the world. However, they never thought their travels would include a hot air balloon accident.

"When we came down there was no warning it happened so fast. So my friend got down, Karen got down on her knees and when we hit the boulder, the boulder rock that just broke her two feet, completely, and bones were just sticking out," Christine Stelly said, in a phone interview.

After hours of surgery, doctors in Spain were able to save both of Guidry's feet, and are hopeful she'll walk again. However, coming back home has been a challenge. Stelly says they couldn't reach the hot air balloon's insurance company about covering Guidry's expenses to safely fly her back to the states.

"They never spoke to us, they were suppose to call. We never heard from them. They told the embassy they weren't paying for anything," Stelly said.

Stelly's sister Susan Verret says, it was going to cost a hundred thousand dollars to get both her and Guidry back home.

"The embassy told them the same thing, that they could not help them. That they would just have to find their own way home," Susan Verret said.

After not knowing for days, how they were going to leave Spain, both Guidry and Stelly say they're relieved to have finally booked a commercial flight that will bring them into the Lafayette Regional Airport on Friday.

"You just don't know when you travel what you're going to face. Something that was so exciting is so devastating now," Verret said.

It's costing 10 to 15 thousand dollars out-of-pocket to get both Stelly and Guidry back home. They didn't have international insurance, which would have covered their expenses. They're looking forward to being back with their families on Friday.

 

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