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Brother Remembers Newlywed Victim in Deadly Balloon Crash: 'They Had an Affinity for Hot Air Balloons'


The heartbroken brother of a man killed in a devastating hot air balloon crash in Texas over the weekend is speaking out following the tragedy.

Among the victims were Matt Rowan, a professor with the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research, and his wife, who had just recently gotten married.

Read: Newlyweds Among 16 Victims of Texas Hot Air Balloon Crash

Rowan's brother, Josh, told Inside Edition that Matt was a "kind, loving person." He added that the couple "had an affinity for hot air balloons" and "they had been wanting to" go in one for "a long time." 

Meanwhile, investigators looking into the disaster that left 16 people dead and are focusing attention on the pilot, 49-year-old Skip Nichols.

Nichols pled guilty to driving while intoxicated in 2002 and he was on probation for a drug offense. His previous hot air balloon business in Missouri had a D+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

The balloon was filmed Saturday flying at low altitude near Austin, Texas minutes before it hit power lines and crashed.

Eyewitness Margarette Whylie told Inside Edition: "We just saw a big fireball go up and then it was praying that whoever was there got away from the thing in time."

More is also being learned about the victims of the doomed balloon.

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Paige Brabson who perished in the crash, recently became a mom. She bought the ride for her mother, Lorilee.

John and Stacee Gore were celebrating their third wedding anniversary.

Brian O'Neill planned the ride as an anniversary gift for his wife, Tressie. She posted a Facebook message, her las, saying: “Up early heading out for the anniversary surprise Brian’s had planned for months! I'm super excited and sleepy!”

Watch: Metal Pole Crashes Through Car Narrowly Missing 4-Year-Old Girl In Car Seat 

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