Family confirmed to Eyewitness News that the pilot operating a Cessna Skyhawk plane that crashed on Sunday, July 30th, has passed away.

Family told Eyewitness News that Mark Stern, of Redding, passed away on Thursday.

Firefighters said they received a call at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, from tower dispatchers that the rented plane, a Cessna Skyhawk, had crashed just after take-off into the heavy brush near airport property on Miry Brook Road.

Three men were in the plane when it crash, and two men, including pilot Stern, were listed in critical condition, according to Danbury Communications Officer, James Gagliardo, while the third passenger escaped with minor injuries. First Responders extricated the passengers and all three were transported to Danbury Hospital.

Deputy Chief Stephen Williams told Eyewitness News that a mechanical malfunction may have caused the plane to crash, but said the it is still too early in the investigation to make that determination.

Firefighters said a nearby dog park was evacuated and is expected to remain closed until the plane has been retrieved from the crash site.

The FAA and the NTSB is investigating to determine what caused the crash.

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