The racing community is mourning the loss of a veteran modified NASCAR driver, Ted Christopher, who was one of the victims in a plane crash on Saturday.
Police said two people on board a Mooney M20C aircraft were killed when it crashed in North Branford on Saturday. The second person was identified on Sunday as 81-year-old Charles Dundas, from New York and Florida.
The crash happened in the area of West Street, around 1:53 p.m. on Saturday. Police said they do not yet know where the plane took off, or to where it was headed.
"It was really strange," described neighbor Carrie Carignan. "It almost sounded like a dump truck opening the back and gravel falling out."
Carignan said she assumed the noise was a tree falling in the woods, but it wasn't until an hour later, when she said she learned of the crash while on a hike.
"All of a sudden, he called me frantic, you got to call 911, you got to call 911," said Carignan "There's been a plane crash and I'm like 'Oh my God.'"
The FAA is investigating the crash.
News of the crash spread quickly to the racing community when it was learned that veteran NASCAR Whelen Modified driver, 59-year-old Ted "Teddy" Christopher was one of the victims killed in the crash.
Before a race Saturday at Waterford Speedbowl, General Manager, George Whitney said a driver drove Christopher's #13 car around the track twice in remembrance of the driver killed in the crash. Whitney said Christopher often raced at speed ways in Waterford and Thompson.
NASCAR CEO Brian France made a statement of the driver's passing.
"We are all saddened to learn of the tragic plane crash this afternoon that claimed the lives of NASCAR driver Ted Christopher and the aircraft's pilot. As a championship driver on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and New England short tracks, Christopher was a throwback to NASCAR's roots. He was a tough racer's racer, and his hard driving style and candid personality endeared him to short track fans throughout the country. He will be missed throughout the racing community, in the garage and, especially, in the hearts of his many fans. NASCAR has his family and friends in its thoughts and prayers during this difficult time."
Guilford Police and Fire, and North Branford units also responded. The remains of the plane will be removed in the coming days.
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