Man who travelled to space with William Shatner dies in plane crash

New Jersey: A man who travelled to space with William Shatner last month was killed along with another person when a small plane crashed in northern New Jersey, according to state police.

Glen M de Vries, 49, of New York City, and Thomas P Fischer, 54, of Hopatcong, were aboard the single-engine Cessna 172 that went down on Thursday, local time, in a wooded area of Hampton Township.

Glen de Vries (far left) travelled into space with William Shatner (second from right) last month. He died in a plane crash in New Jersey this week. Credit:Blue Origin via AP

The aircraft had departed from Essex County Airport in Caldwell and was headed to Sussex Airport when the Federal Aviation Administration alerted public safety agencies to look for the missing plane around 3pm. Emergency crews found the wreckage around 4pm, the FAA said.

De Vries founded Medidata Solutions, a tech company, and was a trustee at Carnegie Mellon University.

He travelled on October 13 aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard spacecraft, spending more than 10 minutes in space after launching along with Shatner and others, including Australian venture capitalist Dr Chris Boshuizen.

Speaking to The Sun-Herald and Sunday Age earlier this year about the space flight, the Sydney-born Dr Boshuizen said his mission was “to let the world know that the world has changed. The days of governments having control over space is over.”

Fischer owned Fischer Aviation, a family-run flight school, and was its head instructor, according to public reports.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.

AP and staff reporter

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