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Balloon Crash: Switzerland Vacation for Pepperdine U Founders Turns Deadly

Image: Balloon Crash: Switzerland Vacation for Pepperdine U Founders Turns Deadly Grant Adamson

By Alexandra Ward   |   Wednesday, 07 Aug 2013 01:02 PM

A hot air balloon crash in Switzerland on Tuesday killed the head of the Malibu family that helped found Pepperdine University.

The so-called "royal family" of Malibu was having fun on vacation this week when their hot air balloon crashed into an electrical power line and fell more than 160 feet, landing near Montbovon, Switzerland.

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Grant Adamson, 55, died in the crash. His wife Terry, also 55, and their two daughters, ages 20 and 24, suffered life-threatening injuries and remain in critical condition, according to NBC Los Angeles.

"I could've only imagined that he probably did everything he could to shield his wife and daughters from the fall," Shelley Ross Saxer, vice dean of Pepperdine University School of Law, told NBC.

The Adamsons became one of Pepperdine's founding families in the 1970s after donating the land on which Pepperdine University sits today. Terry Adamson is a law professor at the school, and both daughters are Pepperdine students.

"The Pepperdine community is deeply saddened by the passing of Grant Adamson and by the injuries sustained by his wife Terry and daughters Lauren and Megan," read a message posted on the school’s Facebook page Tuesday evening.

It continued: "The Adamsons are beloved, longtime members of the Pepperdine family: Grant was the founding member of Pepperdine’s Crest Advisory Board, Terry is Distinguished Jurist in Residence at the School of Law, Lauren is a second-year MBA student at the Graziadio School of Business and Management, and Megan is a junior at Seaver College. We hold each of them in our hearts during this tragic time and pray especially for their healing."

The Adamson daughters both underwent surgery and are expected to recover. The condition of their mother is unclear, but she is reportedly on a ventilator.

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