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Indiana Nurse Among 4 Dead After Arizona Hot Air Balloon Crash: 'She Was a Beautiful Person'

"She recently became an RN and was making it on her own," said Kaitlynn Bartrom's mom

<p>Facebook</p> Katie Bartrom, 28, of Fort Wayne, IN, one of the four fatalities from a hot air balloon crash in Eloy, Arizona, on Jan. 14, 2024

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Katie Bartrom, 28, of Fort Wayne, IN, one of the four fatalities from a hot air balloon crash in Eloy, Arizona, on Jan. 14, 2024

Four people died and one person was in critical condition after a hot air balloon crash over the weekend in Eloy, Arizona, authorities said.

There were 13 people on board the balloon at the time of Sunday's crash, the Eloy Police Department said in an updated statement on Monday. "This included eight skydivers, four passengers, and the pilot," police wrote. "It is important to clarify that the skydiving was intentional and was successfully completed by all skydivers before any issues with the hot air balloon were evident."

"That's when something catastrophic happened and the balloon crashed to the ground," police said, per Fox affiliate KSAZ.

According to ABC affiliate KNXV, witnesses said that the balloon went up and down prior to making impact.

Police have identified the four victims who died as Chayton Wiescholek, 28, of Union City, Michigan; Kaitlynn Bartrom, 28, of Andrews, Indiana; Atahan Kiliccote, 24, of Cupertino, California; and the pilot, Cornelius Van Der Walt, 37, of Eloy, Arizona.

As of Monday, Valerie Stutterheim, 23, of Scottsdale, Arizona, was listed as being in critical condition, police said.

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The Eloy Police Department said that it is working with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in investigating the crash.

“We extend our deepest condolences to the families and friends of those who have lost their lives in this tragic incident,” police wrote. “And our thoughts are with Ms. Stutterheim as she receives medical care.”

Related: 2 Dead and 1 Injured After Hot Air Balloon Catches Fire in Mexico City

Kaitlynn Bartrom's mom spoke to KNXV about her daughter, a registered nurse with Lutheran Health Network.

"It's kind of somber here at home. We're crying about her on and off and talking about her on and off still trying to make it real," Jennifer Hubartt told the outlet. "She was a beautiful person, she recently became an RN and was making it on her own."

Related: Hot Air Balloon Lands on Vermont Interstate After It 'Stalled in Flight'

Bartrom worked at the Fort Wayne Lutheran Hospital on the Advanced Cardiac Therapy floor. In a statement obtained by PEOPLE, hospital spokesperson Joy Lohse said Bartrom began as a patient care technician and graduated from nursing school within the last year.

“We were tremendously saddened to learn of Kaitlynn “Katie” Bartrom’s tragic passing,” Lohse wrote. “A condolence tree will be placed in the Lutheran Hospital cafeteria for employees to write their thoughts about Katie, leave them at the tree, and then be given to the family in her memory.”

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