Marriage proposal at 2,000 feet ends with a shock

Brandi Runyan & Stephen Richardson
Published: .
Updated: .

An incredible story is emerging from a hot air balloon crash that was caught on camera yesterday in Noblesville.

The balloon collided with power lines. Luckily, none of the seven people on board were seriously hurt.

In fact, two of the people on board, couldn't be happier.

"It's perfect.  It's better than I could have hoped for," said bride-to-be Brandi Runyan.

You'd probably expect to hear something similar from any woman as she gazes at her two karat diamond engagement ring, the day after the man she loves proposes.

"He's everything that I ever hoped to have," said Runyan.

"She told me from the get go, 'When you propose, I want a story to tell,'" said Runyan's fiance Stephen Richardson.

Does Runyan ever have a story for the grandkids now.

"It was the perfect moment. The perfect ring with undoubtedly the perfect man," said Runyan.

Runyan said 'yes' from 2,000 feet in the air during a hot air balloon ride Saturday night that Richardson had planned for months.

"We had probably about a half hour of floating, enjoying it all," Richardson said about the ride after the proposal.

Then came something the couple wasn't expecting.

"For whatever reason, we got over the power lines and we just started dropping," explained Richardson.

"I remember thinking, we're going to hit those power lines because there was no way to miss," Runyan added.

There wasn't anything anyone could do though.

"The basket, went under, the balloon went over.  I think there were about 12 steel cables, quarter inch steel cables and we cut nine of them during the first pop," said Richardson of the moment when they first hit the lines.

Then there were sparks everywhere and we're not talking about the kind between two people in love.

"The pilot was yelling down to the ground crew 'call the fire department,'" remembered Richardson. "We were probably there for a couple seconds, but it felt like 5 to 10 minutes and it was, 'ok, what happens now'....Somehow we drifted back off and came up and hit the power lines again and kind of bounced over them that time."

Then just as quickly, the balloon and every one inside it's basket, was on the ground and safe.

"It actually wasn't that bad all things considered," said Richardson.

Their unforgettable engagement ride, said the couple, is sort of a metaphor for love and marriage.

"Love has its ups and its downs, just like on a balloon ride," said Runyan.

They've got a piece of the charred hot air balloon to prove it.

"That's our souvenir," said Richardson, holding up the blackened fabric where he scribbled in marker, "She said yes."

A day later, Runyan and Richardson are glad to be safe and hoping for a long and happy marriage

"I hope that we can celebrate 65, 70 years together," said Runyan.

They hope for plenty of romantic spark between them too, to keep it going.

"I think sparks in a marriage are a good thing," said Richardson.

They just don't want to the kind of sparks again that come from a hot air balloon hitting power lines while they're riding in it.