William Shatner crew mate on space flight killed in small plane crash

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • William Shatner
    William Shatner
    Canadian actor

William Shatner’s crew mate in last month’s historic rocket trip to the edge of space was one of two men killed Thursday in a plane crash in New Jersey, officials said.

Glen de Vries, 49, of New York City, and Thomas P. Fischer, 54, of Hopatcong, New Jersey, died following the small aircraft crash shortly before 3 p.m. in Hampton Township, according to New Jersey State Police.

De Vries joined Shatner and other crew members aboard the Oct. 13 flight developed by Blue Origin, the private spaceflight company founded by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating Thursday’s crash, police said. The FAA could not be immediately reached Friday for comment.

The New Jersey Herald reported the FAA alerted public safety authorities that a single-engine Cessna 172 went missing near Kemah Lake, about 50 miles northwest of Newark. Emergency crews found the wreckage about an hour later, the newspaper reported.

The aircraft was “destroyed” in the crash, which occurred “under unknown circumstances,” an initial report by the FAA states, according to the Herald.

De Vries co-founded software company Medidata Solutions, which specializes in management of electronic data from clinical trials. He also served as a trustee for Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

Three white men and one white woman in blue jumpsuits that read Blue Origin smile at the camera (Blue Origin / AP)
Three white men and one white woman in blue jumpsuits that read Blue Origin smile at the camera (Blue Origin / AP)

“We will truly miss Glen, but his dreams which we share live on: we will pursue progress in life sciences & healthcare as passionately as he did,” Medidat said in a statement.

De Vries received his undergraduate degree in molecular biology and genetics from Carnegie Mellon University, worked as a research scientist at the Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center and studied computer science at New York University’s Courant Institute of Mathematics, according to his biography on the Medidata website.

A statement from Carnegie Mellon University President Farnam Jahanian called de Vries one of the university’s greatest science advocates.

“The entire Carnegie Mellon University community is devastated by the loss of alumnus and trustee Glen de Vries, and our hearts go out to his family, friends and loved ones,” Jahanian said.

This story first appeared on NBCNews.com.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting