Man Who Went to Space With Shatner Dies in Plane Crash

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NS-18 crew member, Medidata Solutions Co-Founder, Glen de Vries, attends a press conference at the New Shepard rocket landing pad in the West Texas on Oct. 13, 2021. (Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images)

HAMPTON TOWNSHIP, N.J.—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 and was the head instructor at his family-run flight school, Fischer Aviation.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.

The Associated Press


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