Man who flew with actor William Shatner to space killed in plane crash in New Jersey

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Saturday, November 13, 2021
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LAKE KEMAH, New Jersey (WABC) -- A man who recently traveled to space with actor William Shatner was one of two killed in a small plane crash in New Jersey Thursday afternoon.

New Jersey State Police identified the two men who died as 49-year-old Glen De Vries and 54-year-old Thomas Fischer.

De Vries was the CEO of Medidata and just last month was on board the Blue Origin flight that carried "Star Trek" actor to space.

"It's going to take me a while to be able to describe it. It was incredible," de Vries said as he got his Blue Origin "astronaut wings" pinned onto his blue flight suit by Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos.

Bezos called De Vries' death a tragic loss.

De Vries also served on the board of Carnegie Mellon University.

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

Troopers responded at 2:50 p.m. to the report of a small aircraft crash in Hampton Township in Sussex County.

They located the single-engine Cessna 172 in a state park near Lake Kemah, after the FAA issued an alert for the missing aircraft.

The aircraft departed from Essex County Airport for Sussex Airport.

The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the cause of the crash.

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