William Shatner's Fellow Blue Origin Space Traveler Dies in Plane Crash: Full Details

William Shatner's Fellow Blue Origin Space Traveler Dies in Plane Crash: Full Details
Glen de Vries, a passenger on the Blue Origin mission with "Star Trek" actor William Shatner last month, died in a plane crash in New Jersey. Several people and companies have expressed their sympathy, including Jeff Bezos' space company. Photo : PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images

Glen de Vries, a passenger on the Blue Origin mission with "Star Trek" actor William Shatner last month, died in a plane crash in New Jersey. Several people and companies have expressed their sympathy, including Jeff Bezos' space company.

William Shatner's Fellow Blue Origin Space Traveler Dies

According to Patch, the New Jersey State Police has identified the two victims of the plane crash in Hampton Township's Kemah Lake district of Sussex County on Thursday afternoon.

The said victims are Thomas P. Fischer, 54 years old, of Hopatcong, and Glen M. de Vries, 49 years old, from New York. Both Fischer and Dde Vries were onboard the Cessna 172 Skyhawk, which is a single-engine and fixed-wing aircraft.

According to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) report, the jet went missing shortly after 3 p.m. local time. In addition, Patch reported that the plane was going toward Sussex Airport immediately after taking off from Essex County Airport in Caldwell. Unfortunately, about one hour later, the state police reported that the wrecked plane was found "in a thickly wooded location" in Hampton Township.

The FAA report furthered that the factors that caused the crash are unknown, and authorities have not stated who was piloting the small plane.

De Vries, a co-founder of a tech business, flew to the edge of space alongside William Shatner and two others aboard Blue Origin's New Shepard spacecraft on Oct. 13, per Associated Press.

After finding out about the plane crash, Blue Origin, which was owned by former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, posted their condolences on Twitter regarding the plane crash incident that killed De Vries.

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Before flying out with William Shatner through Blue Origin's New Shepard, De Vries released a statement saying that he has spent his entire career working to extend people's lives, per a Blue Origin blog post. He continued that given the scarcity of resources and energy on Earth, expanding the reach into space can help civilization thrive.

"Furthermore, astronauts can experience the 'overview effect,' gaining a new perspective on how fragile and precious our planet, those resources, and our civilization are. Playing a part in advancing the space industry and one day making those resources and that understanding available to everyone, is an incredible opportunity. I've been passionate about aviation and space for as long as I can remember, so this flight is truly a dream come true," De Vries furthered on the blog post.

The New York-based healthcare software company Medidata Solution, which was co-founded by De Vries, also released a statement through UPI.

"Our thoughts and support go out to Glen's family. Our deepest sympathy also goes out to our Medidata team, which Glen co-founded. His tireless energy, empathy, and pioneering spirit left their mark on everyone who knew him. We will truly miss Glen, but his dreams, which we share, live on."

Who Is Glen de Vries?

Glen de Vries was the vice-chair of life sciences and health care at Dassault Systemes, which bought Medidata in 2019. He is a Carnegie Mellon University Trustee, author of "The Patient Equation," and a private pilot with an instrument rating.

De Vries was one of two paying customers selected to fly with William Shatner and Blue Origin's vice president of mission and flight operations Audrey Powers on Blue Origin's New Shepard NS-18 mission. Planet co-founder Chris Boshuizen was the other paying client. The four passengers took a 10-minute round-trip ride to space and spent around four minutes in zero gravity.

Related Article: 'Star Trek' Star William Shatner Goes to Space: Watch Rocket Launch, Splashdown of Captain Kirk!

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