A MUM-of-two from Stoneleigh has died after being thrown 20ft from a hot air balloon while on a family holiday.
Suzanne Astle was on a balloon safari in South Africa when it crash-landed in high winds while trying to land. It ended up on isolated farmland near the town of Mooinooi.
The 48 year-old was thrown from the basket and suffered severe head injuries.
The balloon’s GPS device smashed in the tragedy, meaning rescue teams took around an hour and a half to reach her.
During that time she was comforted by husband John and her two teenage sons Will and Sam.
Mrs Astle died the next day in hospital.
A four year-old South African girl and her mother were also seriously injured in the crash and left stranded with spinal and internal injuries.
It is believed 14 people were on the trip, which promised a spectacular dawn ride by lone pilot Bill Harrop of Bill Harrop’s Original Balloon Safaris.
Mr Astle – a Stoneleigh councillor and former pilot – has now returned to his home in Stoneleigh with his two children.
An inquiry into Mrs Astle’s death and the crash is set to be held.