NEWPORT NEWS, Va.— Atlantic 10 Commissioner Bernadette V. McGlade released the following statement regarding the tragic balloon accident involving University of Richmond women’s basketball staff members, Ginny Doyle and Natalie Lewis.
"Our deepest sympathy and prayers are extended to the Doyle and Lewis families; as well as the Richmond student-athletes, staff, coach Shafer, coach Barany and athletic department staff," stated McGlade. "This tragic accident is a painful reminder of the precious gift of life -- condolences are inadequate, so we stand ready to support our Richmond family in every way possible."
Both Doyle and Lewis were Richmond graduates and former UR student-athletes. Doyle played women's basketball for the Spiders and Lewis was a swimmer.
The following is the University of Richmond's statement:
The University of Richmond community extends its prayers and thoughts to the families of two members of the women’s basketball staff who were aboard a balloon that crashed May 9 in Caroline County, Va.
Ginny Doyle, associate head women’s basketball coach, and Natalie Lewis, director of basketball operations, were on the balloon that crashed shortly before 8 p.m. Virginia State Police have recovered two of the balloon’s three occupants. Official identification is pending from the Medical Examiner’s Office.
"As alumnae, classmates, and colleagues – and as invaluable and devoted mentors for our student-athletes – Ginny and Natalie have been beloved members of our community,” said President Edward L. Ayers. “Their leadership and friendship will endure in the lives of so many.”
“Words cannot begin to express our sorrow,” said Keith Gill, director of athletics. “We are all stunned by the tragic news. Our thoughts and prayers go out to their loved ones.”
The full Richmond story on the tragedy can be found on RichmondSpiders.com