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Man who went to space with Shatner dies in plane crash

This undated photo made available by Blue Origin in October 2021 shows, from left, Chris Boshuizen, William Shatner, Audrey Powers and Glen de Vries. Their launch scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021 will be Blue Origin’s second passenger flight, using the same capsule and rocket that Jeff Bezos used for his own trup three months earlier. (Blue Origin via AP)

HAMPTON TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) — A man who traveled 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 Thursday in a wooded area of Hampton Township.

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 3 p.m. Emergency crews found the wreckage around 4 p.m., the FAA said.

De Vries founded Medidata Solutions, a tech company, and was a trustee at Carnegie Mellon University. He traveled Oct. 13 aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard spacecraft, spending more than 10 minutes in space after launching along with Shatner and others.

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.

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