William Shatner’s Fellow Space Traveler Dies In A Frightening Accident

Glen De Vries, a passenger that accompanied William Shatner on the Blue Origin space flight, has passed away in a plane crash.

By Doug Norrie | Published

This article is more than 2 years old

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Some incredibly sad news was reported on Friday that Glen de Vries, a member of the Blue Origin space flight, which included William Shatner, has passed away in a plane crash. Deadline has it that de Vries was involved in an accident near Hampton Township, New Jersey. De Vries along with another pilot, Thomas Fischer were involved in the crash of their Cessna 172. It is not clear who was piloting the craft at the time of the crash. Apparently, both De Vries and Discher were registered pilots. New Jersey State Police released the details of the crash which had the plane apparently going down in a heavily-wooded area. De Vries was 49 years old. The National Transportation Safety Board is said to be investigating the incident.

Glen de Vries was one of four people involved with the Blue Origin space flight that launched into space back on October 13th. That flight included William Shatner, De Vries, NASA engineer Chris Boshuizen, and Blue Origin Vice President Audrey Powers. In total, they spent ten minutes in space, and with Shatner aboard it marked the record at the time for the oldest person to leave the atmosphere. The flight was a much-ballyhooed event for the company that drew considerable media coverage. De Vries, a tech mogul, was the founder of Medidata Solutions, a clinical research company. He was reported to have been a paying customer on the flight though it isn’t clear what the exact cost entailed to accompany the rest of the crew for the trip. 

Blue Origin released a statement, via their Twitter account, about Glen de Vries, expressing sympathy and sadness over what occurred on Friday. As of this writing, William Shatner had not commented on the passing of Glen de Vries on any social media account. You can see the Blue Origin message below: 

The Blue Origin flight involving William Shatner was, of course, a media stunt meant to bring Captain Kirk up into orbit and garner considerable public attention in the process. At 90-years-old, Shatner’s age was as much a part of the story as anything else. That and the fact that his place in the science fiction lexicon had been cemented thanks to his role in the Star Trek franchise for so many years. William Shatner was aboard the second flight taken by Blue Origin with founder and owner Jeff Bezos aboard the maiden voyage for the company back on July 20th. That flight included Bezos, as well as his brother Mark. They were joined by Oliver Daemen, an 18-year old who was sponsored to go after a $28 million charity auction winner gifted him the spot. The fourth passenger was Wally Funk, then 82. Funk was the first female inspector for the Federal Aviation Agency.

This crash involving Glen de Vries is obviously a tragedy of the highest order. There are sure to be more details that come out surrounding what exactly happened with his plane that led to it crashing in New Jersey. Our thoughts are with his family.