Plane crash deaths of pilot, NASCAR driver ruled an accident

FILE - In this Sept. 16, 2005 file photo, Ted Christopher celebrates his victory in the Busch North Series Sylvania 125 at the New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon, N.H. NASCAR officials say modified championship racer Christopher was one of two people killed when a small plane crashed in Connecticut. The Federal Aviation Administration confirms that two people were aboard a Mooney M20C plane that went down in a wooded area near the North Branford-Guilford border shortly before 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. NASCAR says Christopher and the plane's pilot died. (AP Photo/Jon-Pierre Lasseigne, File)

NORTH BRANFORD, Conn. (AP) — Officials have ruled the deaths of NASCAR driver Ted Christopher and an 81-year-old pilot in a Connecticut plane crash an accident.

The medical examiner’s office said Thursday the September deaths of 59-year-old Christopher and the plane’s pilot, Charles Dundas, were caused by blunt trauma. A toxicology report was turned over to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Dundas and Christopher were the only two aboard the plane when it crashed in North Branford, right outside of New Haven. The report says the two had been flying together for over 10 years.

The plane took off from Plainville and was bound for New York’s Long Island.

The National Safety Transportation Board is still investigating the cause of the crash.

Christopher had 131 wins, 109 SK Modified wins and nine SK Modified track championships during his career.