Glen de Vries, the 49-year-old entrepreneur who flew to space with actor William Shatner last month aboard a flight launched by Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, died Thursday in a small-plane crash in New Jersey.
A statement tweeted by Blue Origin said, “We are devastated to hear of the sudden passing of Glen de Vries. He brought so much life and energy to the entire Blue Origin team and to his fellow crewmates. His passion for aviation, his charitable work, and his dedication to his craft will long be revered and admired.”
The crash of the single-engine Cessna 172 occurred yesterday afternoon near a New Jersey state park in Lake Kemah, Hampton Township. The identities of the two fatalities – de Vries and New Jersey aviation company owner Thomas Fischer – were disclosed by New Jersey State Police today.
De Vries was a vice chairman of life sciences and healthcare at Dassault Systèmes, parent corporation of the technology company, Medidata Solutions, co-founded by de Vries.
“Our thoughts and support go out to Glen’s family,” said the New York-based Dassault Systèmes in a statement, adding that de Vries’ “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: we will pursue progress in life sciences & healthcare as passionately as he did.”
The four-seat Cessna crashed around 4 p.m. ET Thursday in a wooded area 40 miles northwest of New York City. Investigators have not yet identified which of the two men was piloting; de Vries was an instrument-rated private pilot, and Fischer owned the Fischer Aviation flight school.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.
The Star Trek actor has not yet commented on de Vries’ death.
We are devastated to hear of the sudden passing of Glen de Vries. He brought so much life and energy to the entire Blue Origin team and to his fellow crewmates. His passion for aviation, his charitable work, and his dedication to his craft will long be revered and admired. pic.twitter.com/1hwnjntTVs
— Blue Origin (@blueorigin) November 12, 2021