Plane crash leaves NASCAR driver, 81-year-old pilot dead

GUILFORD — Police have identified the second person killed in a plane crash that claimed the life of NASCAR modified champion racer Ted Christopher in Connecticut.

Police said Sunday that 81-year-old Charles Dundas, a resident of New York and Florida, was killed in the Saturday crash.

The call came in shortly before 3 p.m. A witness said she and her fiancé heard a loud noise and thought a tree fell when they made the horrific discovery.

“They just described it to me and I came on scene later and then the responding officers and they heard a loud noise,” said Lt. James Lovelace of the North Branford Police Department.

“It almost sounded like a dump truck like opening the back and gravel falling out,” said Carrie Carignan of Guilford.

Carignan said she and her fiancé discovered the crash an hour after it happened. She also said if it was not for them walking into the field to see what happened, no one would have known about the incident.

“There was like two people dead inside the plane. It was so much all at once,” added Carignan.

North Branford Police confirmed two men have died in the crash. Their names have not been released yet, but Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park and NASCAR Officials confirmed that one of the victims was local racing legend Ted Christopher.

Christopher was to have competed Saturday night at Riverhead Raceway in New York.

In a Facebook post from the Speedway, they said Ted was “one of the greatest modified drivers of all time.”

Connecticut State Police assisted the Guilford Police Department at the scene of the crash. The North Branford Fire Department appeared on scene just before 6 p.m. The FAA and NTSB are also on the scene and will be for several hours.

“You can see the plane is literally like straight up and down. I don’t know. They were saying maybe it hit a tree and it just literally went straight down,” added Carignan.

She also said it was a two-person plane and this is not the first time Guilford has seen a plane crash.

North Branford Police have not released details on where the plane was coming from and where it was headed. They said the NTSB is expected to do another press conference Sunday morning to answer more questions.

A few other racing NASCAR racing legends tweeted out their own words of sympathy. Notably five time NASCAR Driver of the Year Jimmie Johnson tweeted his praise for Christopher while giving his condolences to the late driver’s family.

 

Stay with FOX 61 News on this developing story.