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Family, friends hold fundraiser for victims of hot air balloon crash

Paige, Lorilee Brabson killed in last month's crash

SAN ANTONIO – Family and friends of Paige Brabson and her mother, Lorilee, gathered Sunday to hold a fundraiser for the pair killed during the hot air balloon crash outside Lockhart.

All 16 people aboard the balloon died. Paige left behind an 11-month-old daughter, Marilee.

Paige also worked as a food server at La Hacienda de Los Barrios, cite of Sunday’s fundraiser.

Just before the crash, Paige and Lorilee sent out a photo from the balloon. The mother and daughter are pictured arm-in-arm, both with big smiles.

"One of her last statements was ‘It's so peaceful up here,’" said Paige's grandfather and Lorilee's father, Paige Brabson.

Patricia Morgan, Lorilee's mother, said she could not hold back her emotions when she found out her daughter and granddaughter died together in the crash.

"I screamed and hollered. I knew it was them. I knew it was them," she said.

Another person at the fundraiser, Ashlin Combs, grew up with Paige.

"We'd known each other since we were 4 or 5. There's never been a time when I don't remember her being in my life," Combs said.  

After she found out that Paige and Lorilee were killed in the crash, she got their names tattooed on the inside of her arms.

"Paige is on my right hand because she was my right hand. And Lorilee is on my left where I have my cross because she always kept me in faith," Combs said.

Combs also said Lorilee drove her and Paige to Sunday school.

The family hopes the fundraiser might one day help with Paige's daughter, Marilee, with college expenses.  

The infant will celebrate her first birthday on Aug. 23.

Anyone interested in donating can call La Hacienda de Los Barrios at 210-497-8000.